Editing: Scrapping the Introduction Chapter of Sentry

Published: 03/11/2015 12:51 pm

rest-in-peace-intro-sentryAfter quite a bit of contemplating, I've decided to scrap the Introduction chapter to Sentry during my editing. That's just under 1200 words of setting backstory removed. I came to this decision because I like reading books that start with an interesting situation or other hook and letting the universe around that point reveal itself during the narrative instead of reading half a chapter full of history when a brief two sentence summary of the world would be better in the blurb on the cover of the book or in the summary of the eBook store.

If readers become ravenously interested in the history of the world or setting, then a history or setting book should be published (or do the smart thing and let the fans do it themselves on Wikipedia!). This means I've still got a lot of (re)writing to do, but I already had plans to do so. I know (pretty much) exactly where I need to expand/rewrite for my second draft. The whole ending to me is dodgy, and there's not enough "going on" during almost a year and a half. This is supposed to be an extremely stressful time for Jeri (and Karde, and the rest of her friends), and I don't think I'm conveying the danger and hell she's put through. Being a conscript (despite some of her wounds) in the Rikan Empire seems all too happy and "Star-Treky."

This is not acceptable in a world filled with horrors and wonder. It's important to convey the amount of respect that the Rikan Empire has for humanity, but the fact remains that conscripts are criminals serving to redeem their basic human rights - or die trying. There are many places in conversation that the reader can learn more about the history (at least from the Rikan Empire's point of view) of Raltha through Jeri's "eyes and ears" and each would be a better place to help the reader build a 'model' of the setting than a boring introduction.