Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious ) wrote,

The Series Series

It cracks me up, so what the heck, I'm going with that as the title for my biweekly column at Black Gate. This week's post discusses Naomi Novik's newest novel in the Temeraire series, Blood of Tyrants. Although I am enthusiastic about Novik and this series, the current volume has a significant structural issue that my software-engineer spouse would describe as a bug aspiring to be a feature.

Meanwhile, I'm preparing to finish getting the Little Book into complete working draft during National Novel Writing Month. Considering that it's already 100,000 words long, after two rounds of Nanowrimo some years ago, I'll be cutting nearly as much as I add. It's not the orthodox approach to the Nanowrimo silliness, but if you can't be heretical in your silliness, what can you be heretical in? I've got scenes that are described but not presented, scenes whose future existence is noted but not even described, scenes that need to be excised by means of a chainsaw, and an entire frame narrative that I'll experiment with removing. Somewhere in the storage unit is a box of books labeled NOVEL RESEARCH--DO NOT PUT IN STORAGE--BRING TO HOUSE. In it are all my accumulated books on cavalry warfare and horses, as well as the copy of Clausewitz's On War that has nearly everything my protagonist knows about strategy and tactics pencil-scribbled in the margins. Damn and blast. For my zero-draft Nanowrimo years, it would have been a positive good for my research books to be inaccessible. For turning the zero draft into a complete working draft, it's a significant impediment.

The mantra: Something good will happen; I just don't know what it is.
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