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Archive for the ‘Infidel’ Category

INFIDEL: Out today in the UK (more blood! more bugs! more beheadings!)

Happy book release day to my second novel, INFIDEL sequel to the Clarke Award nominated GOD’S WAR, out today in the UK.

Nyx and co. are back. You get a beheading in, like, the first six or eight pages. It just gets better from there.

Still on sale through the end of today for 2.99 in eBook. Deal, my friends, DEAL, as this was a Clarke Award nomination special, and alas, that window closes in ohhhhhh… two hours? Snap it right up!

Thanks to everyone for supporting these books, all around the world. You’re fantastic.

INFIDEL_v5_3[1]

 

 

 

Get FREE copies of GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL

If you’ve been hungry to read GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL, but were just waiting for the right time – this is it.

In celebration of the release of RAPTURE, the final book in the trilogy, Night Shade is giving away totally FREE ecopies of BOTH GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL.

Yes. Both books.

Here’s how to get yours:

Just send an email to Beldamegiveaway@nightshadebooks.com. Night Shade will shoot back an email to you with the info you need to download the files for GOD’S WAR and INFIDEL. Both Epub and Mobi files are available.

Free downloads are only available from November 1st to November 8th, 2012.

Don’t miss it, folks.

(Oh, yeah… and if you like what you read? RAPTURE’s out now!)

Deals, Deals Deals: GOD’S WAR UK & Audio Editions

I’m pleased to share that GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL and RAPTURE will be published in the UK (and the British Commonwealth) by Ebury Publishing, a subsidiary of Random House, UK. For those keeping an Irony Meter handy, my first contract for GOD’S WAR, which was cancelled and resulted in us heading over to Night Shade, was originally signed with Bantam-Spectra here in the US… Bantam-Spectra is also a division of Random House.

It’s a crazy, crazy business, folks.

In more Good News, Audible has also bought the rights to publish GOD’S WAR, INFIDEL, and RAPTURE in audio format.

I have no publication dates or details beyond that, but I will keep you all posted as I hear more.

DEALMAKING FAQ

Does this mean you’re RICH now?

It’s always been very important to me here to be honest about what new writers can expect from deals like this. So here’s how it works. After my publisher’s cut, my agent’s cut, and taxes, the UK deal – for all three books – is about enough to pay for us to finally put a fence up around our property. That said, the pay out on that amount is spread out over the publication of all three books. So money will trickle in over, most likely, the next 2-3 years.

The Audible deal for all three books equals a little more than half of what I was paid by Night Shade to publish GOD’S WAR alone. So, maybe I’ll pay off part of a credit card with it?

Whether or not money is made after those initial amounts depends wholly on how many folks buy books in these editions/formats. So BUY SOME BOOKS!!!

But… but… won’t you be bathing in royalty money?

Not any time soon. I split a portion of any royalties I receive with both Night Shade (because it’s a sub rights deal on rights they already own and paid us for) and my agent. I still get the bulk of the royalties, but if you think this is a Get Rich Quick scheme and I’ll be quitting my day job any time soon… well, no.

Are you going to have (INSERT FAMOUS JENNIFER-HALE TYPE PERSON HERE) read your audio book? Can my friend (INSERT FRIEND’S NAME HERE) narrate your audio book?

As I understand it, unless you’re already Rich and Famous and can get said Famous Person to do the narration at a cut-rate deal, Audible generally does all the production for stuff on their end. I will get to tell them how to pronounce words, though. So that’s cool.

How much input did you have on these deals?

My publisher already owned both World English and audio rights to my novels. That means they negotiated these deals. That said, I was presented with the initial UK offers through my agent, asked my opinion, and gave it, including a change to an initial bit of the offer. My agent also requested an amended contract that firmed up our split of the subsidiary rights.

You don’t sound really happy. Aren’t you really happy?

Yes, I am really happy. The thing is, just a few short years in the trenches in this biz has made me a bit guarded and cynical (see above post about my initial cancelled contract). I’ve learned that seeing “big money” when you sign a deal doesn’t mean you’re getting a big money check. Lots of people have to get paid before you do – the publisher gets paid for any subsidiary rights split, agent gets 15% and at Tax Time there’s a 10% self-employment tax.  Then there’s the fact that you only get paid twice or maybe three times a year – and those payments are nearly always late.  The only way a lot of folks I know can make a living at this is to write 2-3 books a year, and I’m just not there yet. Not if I want to write the kinds of books I write.

Right now, book writing makes up just 10-15% of my income during a good year.

Still, I’m happy. This means more people reading my books. Which, yanno, I think are awesome and everyone should be reading.

So, what’s next?

I have a lot of work ahead that goes with all this, but I’m trying not to think about that too much. Mostly, I’m working hard on the next book (epic warring families! Womb tech! Biotic witches! Cancerous legions of world ships!)… and trying to have a little fun.

And maybe I’ll use some of this money to take a vacation or something. A vacation that I’m not taking so I can, yanno, finish a book.

So, What the Hell is INFIDEL About, Anyway?

Gee, I’m so GLAD you asked….

Should be available for preorder soon!

Last date I got from publisher was 10/1, though it’s still listed as 12/1. Click for listing.

Here is some delightfully delicate back cover copy to get you in the mood:

——————-

The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you’re already losing the war…

Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Her country’s war rages on, but her assassin days are long over. Now she’s babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing people was a lot more honorable.

When Nyx’s former bel dame “sisters” lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx volunteers to stop them. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated countries on the planet — a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world’s deadliest assassins.

In a rotten country of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time… may include her own.

Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: the bloody bel dames will find you.

——————-

And, of course, if you haven’t bought it yet, you can still grab a copy of God’s War for $10!

Nothing to See Here: Oh, Have an Excerpt!

Oh, hello there! I have a blog!

Having no interest in providing actual content, though, and still not ready to write my handwave-handwave-sexy-dance “review” (rant) about SuckerPunch, here’s an excerpt of book 2 to tide you over (DECEMBER folks, December!!)

___

EXCERPT

Infidel: Chapter 15

Suha came out onto the terrace. “You hear what’s on the radio?” she asked.

Nyx shook her head. A few muezzin calls still sounded at the outer edges of the city, moving out into the desert. Now, though, she could hear the low, tinny murmur of the radio inside.

“They’re opening up Mushtallah tomorrow,” Suha said.

“What’s the final count?

“Eighty-four thousand dead. Already burned to stop the contagion spreading.”

“Any First Families?”

“Huh. Don’t know. I’ll look into it.”

“Do that. I want to know who lost a first born and who didn’t.”

“Sure.” Suha leaned against the railing, looked out over the narrow street below, the flat rooftops. The dark sky had a smoky orange glow, a perpetual haze created by dead and dying bugs of a hundred thousand kinds reflecting the ruddy light from glow globes and other forms of bug light. There were no gas lamps this far from the interior, just the constant piss and reek of the bugs.

“Quiet,” Suha said.

“Usually is, after the muezzin.”

“Eshe’s asleep. Been throwing up since we got in,” Suha said. “Tried to wake him up for prayer.”

“Fuck’s sake, don’t bother him with that catshit.”

Suha’s mouth bunched up. “Don’t go mixing his head up with your ideas about God. Let him make his own mind up.”

“Because those lies worked out so well for us?”

“Not all of us fucked God, Nyx,” Suha said. She leaned over and neatly uncapped the whiskey bottle next to Nyx and poured herself a drink. “Just ourselves.”

Nyx gazed back out over the balcony rail. Suha’s maudlin moods always annoyed her.

“You know I need to look up a guy in Tirhan?” Nyx said.

“The magician? Yeah, I heard about him. You need me to look up a boat?”

“Rather go overland.”

Suha gave a slow nod. “At least we’re not on the bounty boards yet.”

Suha leaned up against the rail. She gazed out over the rooftops, eyes glassy, big mouth set. She worked her jaw for awhile. “One of my sisters is a gunrunner,” she said.

“I remember,” Nyx said.

Suha sighed. “They do a lot of work during the spring and summer running shit up through the mountains and into Tirhan, but I don’t know what they’re running this time of year. She can probably get us overland. Don’t know how long, though.”

“I’ve heard it’s a six or eight day trip.”

“I mean, how long til she can set us up.”

“Tell her there’s a shitload of money in it if she wants to play guide.”

Suha clasped her hands. They were big hands, too, like her mouth – dark and bruised as wine-stained leather. “You want to take Eshe with us?

“Where else he going to go?”

“Dangerous crossing for a boy.”

“He can shift it.”

“Long way to go and stay in that form.”

“Since the fuck when are you his mother?” Nyx said. “I’m not a fucking fool.”

“Just wanted to say it out loud.”

“You think he’d stay behind if I asked?”

“No.”

“Then don’t nag at me. What the fuck do you think he’s going to be, Suha? A fucking farmer? I’m teaching him how to survive the front. Boys don’t come home, and they don’t come home because they learn shit ideas about honor and sacrifice and oh, I have a stomach ache so some Chenjan isn’t going to chop off my fucking head. It’s not like that.”

“Not saying it is. Just saying… I don’t know.”

“He’s a Nasheenian boy. I’m not going to raise him like some useless Ras Tiegan noble. Whose fault is it then when he lasts half a day at the front before some Chenjan mashes his face in?”

Suha shook her head. “It’s always one shitty thing or the other with you. Ain’t there ever a middle ground?”

“No. It’s easier to make decisions that way.”

Suha snorted.

Nyx gazed out over the street again. A group of women passed below, talking in loud, drunken voices. They wore crimson burnouses and had the confident swagger of university students. Smart, rich girls – the sort who would never know death or disfigurement at the front. If they had brothers, they had never met them, or they took the Kitab at its word and relinquished their boys to the front with a final thought: thank God I wasn’t born a man.

Nyx let herself wish for a life like theirs; a young body, a future. Why not? She needed a bloody fucking drink. She inhaled the cheap, burnt-fuel stink of the open bottle.

As the girls passed by the dark recesses of an arched doorway mounted with metal studs, Nyx saw a shadow there at the mouth of it, something more substantial than gaping blackness. The door was already cast half in shadow, lingering at the edge of the halo of light cast across the street from the big bug lamps at the front of the hotel.

Nyx moved her gaze away from the door, but kept it in her peripheral version. The shadow moved; a figure pulled in the edge of a dark burnous that had a sheen of the organic about it – far too new and expensive for this part of town.

Nyx set her empty cup on the stool.

“We have spiders,” Nyx said.

“I saw her,” Suha said. “The door? I wasn’t sure.”

“Yeah, that’s the one.”

“I have us set up with a back exit.”

“If they wanted us, they would have moved already.” Why hadn’t they moved, then? It was a busy street this time of night, sure, but her place didn’t have great security; no filters and one lonely house guard who spent most of her time snickering in the kitchen with the spindly Drucian cooks.

“We’ll need to get out discreet in the morning,” Nyx said. “They may be hanging out to see where we’re going.” Or to see how much we know, she amended. But know from who? Alharazad? Alharazad had told them next to nothing.

“You think they’ll follow us into Tirhan?”

“I’m not looking to find out.”

Suha cocked her head. “You hear that?”

“What?” Nyx twisted to look back into the room.

Suha pulled one of her pistols. “Eshe?” She left her drink on the rail and moved into the room.

Nyx heard a thump, then a big bang. She pulled her scattergun and tried to get up, too fast. She stumbled as she came out of the chair. A gun went off. A blast of yellow smoke filled her vision. The railing behind her splintered.

She ducked behind the door and brought up her gun. Her skin throbbed. Blood ran freely down her palm and elbow where she’d caught herself on the balcony deck.

Nyx chanced a look into the hotel room. The door was busted open. A woman crouched in the hall. Nyx fired. The woman fell back. Nyx twisted into the room. Suha grappled with a second woman near the double beds.

A third came at Nyx from the left, hefting a skinny sniper rifle. Very bad for close combat, Nyx thought as she brought up the barrel of her scattergun and caught the woman in gut. The woman screeched and fell back. Just a kid, really, soft-faced and clear eyed and dangerous as fuck. Somebody fired another shot from the door. Nyx ducked and rolled back behind the tatty divan at the far end of the room.

Eshe leapt up from behind one of the beds and darted into the hall, knife raised. It was already bloody.

“Eshe, goddammit!” Nyx yelled.

The woman on the floor shot at her again. “Fuck!” Nyx swore, and aimed the scattergun at the woman’s face this time. The soft features shattered. Blood splattered across Nyx’s face. She heard more shots outside.

Nyx ran out into the hall. Her legs gave out halfway there, and she stumbled, skinned her hands again. She struggled up and burst into the hall, gun first.

Eshe lay on the floor clutching at his gut. Dark blood drooled from an deep open wound. Nyx saw the tail end of a burnous disappearing down the steps. She leapt over Eshe and pulled one of the poisoned needles from her hair.

She hurled herself at the fleeing figure. Her body connected. The assassin collapsed under her weight and took the full force of the impact. Nyx jabbed her with the needle as they tumbled down the stairs. They came to a halt on the next landing, with Nyx squarely on top of the assassin.

Nyx bunched up her other fist and pummeled the woman in the face. The woman went limp. Nyx hauled herself up. She saw raw, peeling skin on her forearms; felt blood dripping down her face.

The woman she’d tackled lay still. Nyx pulled back the hood of the woman’s burnous. Another kid. Not much older than Eshe. Nyx hit her in the face again with the gun, for good measure, then hauled herself back upstairs.

“Eshe!” she called. She used the rail to help herself up. Her knees trembled. Too much, too soon.

She crawled up the last couple of steps and dragged herself next to Eshe. She knelt in a pool of his blood and pressed her hands to his wound to stop the rising tide.

“Eshe, c’mon, goddamit,” she said. His face was alarmingly pale. He was conscious, though – glassy eyed and squirming.

“Fuck,” he murmured. “Fuck, fuck…”

“Suha!” Nyx yelled. “Suha!”

Suha stumbled into the hall. She was clutching at her hip. Nyx saw more blood.

“They down?” Nyx said.

Suha nodded.

“Help me get him up,” Nyx said. “There’s a hedge witch across the way.”

Suha tore off the end of her own burnous and knotted it around her waist. Her face was grim.

“Don’t let me die,” Eshe said. His voice broke.

Nyx felt his warm blood pumping up through her fingers. She clenched her jaw, and refused to look at his twisted face. She stared at her bloody hands instead, trying to keep all that life inside such a little body.

“Please don’t let me die.” He clawed at her burnous, left streaks of blood. “Please, please.”

How many boys had she watched die like this? Please, please… Clawing at her, begging for life, destined for death.

“Not this one,” she muttered.

“What?” Suha said.

“Get him up,” Nyx said. “Let’s get the fuck moving.”

Eshe started crying. “Don’t let me die…”

“You’re fine,” Nyx said. “Everything’s fine.”

#

Excerpt: Black Desert Gets a Plot Shift

Black Desert is currently in the middle of a heavy rewrite. Here’s some additional sceneage I was working on today (I’ll post something with a bit more action tomorrow):

____________________

“Mercia’s mother called,” Suha said. She put out the cigarette and stuffed a wad of sen between teeth and cheek. Her teeth were stained bloody crimson from long years of use. Both habits were far healthier substitutes to venom.

“She deposit my fee?” Nyx asked.

“Yeah. Says she’s taking you off her daughter’s case, though.”

“You serious?”

“Says she heard we had some trouble downtown today.”

“Fucking diplomats. She should thank me for keeping her daughter alive.”

“I called the bounty note office like you asked,” Suha said. She started the bakkie and turned them out onto south Raban. From here, Nyx could just see the curved amber spire of the Orrizo in the distance – a monument to anonymous dead men. “There’s no record that anybody put out a note on you or Mercia. That bel dame was definitely rogue. Maybe running black work for some Ras Tiegan government official? Somebody who wanted to get to Mercia’s mother?”

“Then at least I’ve got my right ass cheek covered,” Nyx said. The left, she wasn’t so sure about.

Eshe hopped up and down in his seat. Nyx wondered if she was ever that giddy at fourteen. “Does this mean we’re going to the bel dame office?”

“It means I’m going to the bel dame office,” Nyx said. She palmed some of Suha’s sen.

“Thought you made a habit of running black work back when you were a bel dame,” Suha said. “Why do you care so much about turning her in? Burn the head and be done with it.”

“I don’t generally mind folks running around picking up illegal bounties,” Nyx said, “but she made a mistake.”

“And what was that?” Suha said.

“She tried to kill me.”

Eshe snickered.

“You sure they’ll let you in there?” Suha said.

“We’ll find out.”

The bel dame reclamation office in Mushtallah was at the base of the city’s sixth hill, known to many as Bloodmount. Particularly pious Nasheenians paid exorbitant prices to take a brief, musty tour of the interior of the derelict that made up the center of the hill. Most of the hills of Mushtallah were artificial. Their rotting cores were made up of old refugee ships, derelicts from the mass exodus from the moons back at the beginning of the world. Nyx had never been down there – she didn’t much care what came before her – but she heard most of it was sealed off anyway. What was left was just a sterile tangle of old metal, bug secretions, and bone dust.

As they came around Palace Hill, Bloodmount came into view. At the height of the hill, a single tower gleamed a burnished copper color. That was the only visible part of the ship above ground, a twisted metal spire where every bel dame took her oath to uphold the old laws of blood debt.

“You sure you want to do this today?” Suha muttered, and spit sen out the open window.

Nyx stared out at the spire. The bel dame training schools, residences, and reclamation office ringed the base of the hill. From here, she couldn’t see the organic filter that protected the hill, but she’d been through it enough to know that it was the most powerful one in Nasheen. Hard to do, with Palace Hill just up the street. The inner filters were more precise, and more deadly. She didn’t figure she’d get much past the first filter on this little jaunt.

Suha drove to the big, burst-scarred main gate at the base of the hill. This neighborhood was mostly boxing gyms and cheap eateries. There were a few shabby text stores and some bodegas. Nyx stepped out of the bakkie and looked up in the tenement windows above the shops. Teenage girls – bel dame hopefuls and university students – sat around on the tiny balconies. High pitched laughter trickled out over the street. She caught a whiff of marijuana, opium, and the distinctive milky stink of too many teenage women. A couple of leggy girls stood on the stoop of a bodega across from the bakkie. They smoked clove and marijuana cigarettes and wore calf-length burnouses and looked Nyx over with heavy-lidded eyes.

“Can I come?” Eshe asked, leaning out the window. A couple of passing girls turned at his voice and stared outright. One of them stumbled. Her companion shrieked with laughter.

Nyx pushed his head back into the bakkie. “Stay with Suha. This isn’t a good place for boys.”

“Nyx –“

“You heard me. I’ll lose com with you once I’m inside the filter,” Nyx told Suha. “I’m not back in two hours, you file a report with the Order Keepers.” Not that it would do much good. Bel dames considered themselves autonomous. How they dealt with Nyx and her news was no business of the Queen’s, so far as they were concerned – even if Nyx hadn’t been one of their number in over a decade. At least if someone filed a report her absence would be noted.

Nyx motioned for Suha to pop the trunk. She dug the burnous-wrapped bel dame’s head out of the back and slung it over her shoulder. The burnous had eaten most of the blood, but it was stained a clotted amber brown.

She leaned into the driver’s side window and nodded to the side street. “There’s a good Ras Tiegan place two streets over called the Montrouge. Get the kid a soda and some curried dog.”

Eshe grimaced. “Tonight’s fight night.”

“I haven’t forgotten,” Nyx said. “Save room for rotis and beer, all right? I might be a bit.”

She wanted to pat his head, but he’d been too old for that for a long time. She snorted. Kids belonged at the coast. Nobody else knew what to do with them. She’d always thought it’d get easier as he got older. But it just got more awkward. Some days she wished he’d stayed eight years old forever.

“You watch yourself in there,” Suha said.

“You watch yourself out here,” Nyx said, and waved. She walked up to the front gate, and turned to watch Suha drive back out onto the main street.

There was a young woman at the gate, just a kid, maybe twenty. Couldn’t have served a day at the front. She had clear skin and clear, shiny eyes. Definitely not a day at the front.

“Here to report a rogue bel dame,” Nyx said.

“You got identification?” the woman said. Nyx held out her hand.

The woman pricked Nyx’s finger and smeared the blood on her desktop slide.

Nyx watched her reaction as the file came up. But the girl barely blinked. She raised her head.

“You’ve got level one clearance. You can go as far as the reclamation office without being cleaned.” She punched open the gate.

Nyx slipped inside. The gate clanged behind her. Old metal, the sort of stuff that came off derelicts. She walked across the courtyard, past the bakkie barns. A couple of tissue mechanics raised their heads as she passed.

The bounty reclamation office was a single-story building of amber stone. Most of the original arches had been whittled away by small arms fire, and what remained had been badly reconstructed. Only half of the bel dame oath was visible. The complete line, the heart of the bel dame oath, was “My life for a thousand.” All that was visible above the office was “My life.” Nyx thought that somehow appropriate, knowing what she did about bel dames.

She hesitated at the stoop. It’d been awhile since she crossed one of these thresholds.

“Well, shit,” she said aloud, and hauled the bel dame’s head into the office.

Back to the Trenches

Just about done with the first pass on Black Desert line edits. Not actually typing them in, mind, just bleeding over the manuscript, which is a mess (yes, that sounds messy, doesn’t it?). There’s this very obvious chunk of the book where I’m just dithering away until I can come up with the ending (ie get Nyx back in the picture), and I cut out a whole chapter last night to help get over that long, boring pre-ending. I was feeling pretty pessimistic about the whole bloody thing until I pushed past that lull. Then Nyx shows back up, and the book starts again. I’m really going to need to work on that. The secondary characters should be strong enough to carry the book for four chapters, and right now, they aren’t. Things which must be fixt….

In other news, I’m thinking about writing some short fiction again. I think some of my struggle is just that I’ve been spending so long working in one world, in one medium. I love writing novels, and I love this world, but I’ve been working on bel dame novels, in one way or another, since 2003.

How time flies.

The Cutting Will Continue Until the Book Improves

I’m not much for books that ramble. Some may argue about the short attention span of the internet age, but really, look back at something like Zelazny’s Amber books, or the pre-90s Stephen King novels:

They’re pretty short.

They are not 1500 page epics. They do not hem and haw and circle and backtrack and spend 10 pages talking about underwater farming in Australasia while the protagonist repeatedly tugs on her braid. Mainly, this is because folks were writing on typewriters. I’m also thinking short books sold better. These days, you pay $30 for a hardcover, and goddammit, you want 900 pages, because, seriously, $30 for a hardcover??

I haven’t been able to get through Hobb’s sequels to the Assassin books because Fool’s Errand just goes on and on and on. It’s two characters having long conversations about their bitter lives and regrets – this is how the book opens! It’s like a hundred pages of the author trying to figure out what the characters are supposed to do during this book, and summing up the boring 15 years of their lives between this book and the last, which I really, really doubt is ultimately relevant to the climax of the novel.

I don’t write like this.

Usually.

I mean, yeah, OK, I write first drafts like this. They are long, and wind-filled, and people are always drinking tea (I was delighted when I realized that they actually had a high tea in my fictional Tirhan. Nobody in Nasheen in the last book actually sat around and drank tea. You have no idea how many stupid, pointless scenes this eliminated in GW. I had to be careful about my tea scenes in BD).

When I’m writing a first draft, I’m generally bouncing around trying to figure out where the characters are going to go, and – if they’re new – what the hell they’re about.

So there are these long, pointless passages about trauma and heartache and growing up in a farming community at the edge of the desert, and the economics of the Bashinda River. And when I revise a book, the first thing I do is say, “OK, do the economics of the Bashinda River have anything to do with this plot? No? Cut it out.” And out it goes.

It is incredibly satisfying, after you murder the first few darling paragraphs, to watch paragraph after boring, clunky paragraph recede into the wastewater that was your first draft.

Ultimately, I’d like to cut about 10K-15, which would get this back to 95K at the most. 95K feels like about the right length for the bel dame books. I can’t tell you why that is, but it is.

Different books tend to have different lengths and styles that just feel more appropriate. I’ve had to go back and chop up a lot of the long sentences and rambling paragraphs I wrote in the first draft, too. Nyx books are short sentences books. Curt, snappy dialogue. Bleeding roaches. Sand-caked wrinkles. Calloused feet. And, of course, heads getting chopped off.

And revision time is when you get to make sure all the shit that was supposed to be there is there. And all the shit that’s just shit… well, that’s what you chop out.

Murder Your Darlings, or: Move it or Lose It

I hate cutting out cool characters who it turns out you just don’t need for the book. One of my walk on characters from GW got a fairly lengthy scene in BD in a chapter that, well, doesn’t really need her so much anymore (she doesn’t show up later in the book, so doing a lengthy intro only to have her disappear seems silly). It’s such as shame, really, because then all this has to go:

“Sometimes Nyx invited Husayn to drive up with them. Nyx had met Husayn at the magicians’ gym in Mushtallah back when Nyx was training as a boxer and bel dame, sometime after Nyx had been recalled from the front and reconstituted. Husayn was a stocky old fighter with a mashed-in pulp of a nose. Her left eye drooped a little, and was going a tad misty. She’d lost her peripheral vision in that eye at thirty, and now, at fifty, she didn’t see much out of it at all….

Nyx and Husayn sat out on the hilltop the morning after Nyx sent Mercia home with a bellyful of buni-flavored rum. The blazing orange disk of the primary star had just swallowed the blue sun, and Eshe was lying prostrate on a prayer rug on the other side of the bakkie, his fingertips stretched toward the base of an old thorn tree that clawed at the sky with barren, charred branches.”

Eh, it wasn’t doing much anyway.