As I’ve set aside my science fiction while readers are going through it I picked up Usurper again. That’s the third book in Trenna Dyngannon’s series for those unaware. Trenna is, by all appearances, my most popular character and I have to admit I love writing her. She’s gritty and tough and vulnerable all at once … and funny.
Diving back into this High Fantasy novel I noticed a stark contrast between the amount of graphic detail I provide with Trenna as opposed to my science fiction. It may be because I’ve “lived” in the world of Dyngannon for so many years that I see it more clearly, but I’m not sure.
Science fiction … or at least space science fiction … tends to limit my graphic detail to what you can see on a space ship. If you’re not in the pilot’s nest looking out the viewport then basically there’s just ship … more ship … and, Oh, look, even more ship … to see. Which, I’m sure you can all imagine, can be a challenge.
Now that I think about it, this probably explains the drastic difference in word count between my 100,000 word High Fantasy novels and the 65,000 word Science Fiction. Reading through the manuscript again I can see how this story (the science fiction story) is more involved with the characters and their growth than my previously published fantasy novels.
So there was really a trade-off. What little I have involved in graphics was made up for in the personal journeys of the characters.
That said, having written the science fiction I can now see how I am implementing what I learned about the “personal journey” into my current fantasy novel. I believe this will make for a stronger all-around book in Usurper and am excited to see how it turns out.
For the science fiction, I am challenging myself to take the whole book through a purely “Graphic Detail” edit. That means I will be focusing completely on description. I’ll probably even use a different colored pen. (Pardon me as I squee. I do adore having any reason at all to use different colored pens in my editing. Red just … you know … hurts sometimes.)