Big thanks to everybody who left encouraging comments last week when I told you about my plans to do a third draft on ‘Harry and Mars’. It really helps to get such supportive thoughts from total strangers!
So – I started the rewrite from scratch last Saturday, and now I’m up to 5824 words, and I think that the climax has just passed. To my surprise, it’s all new stuff, too, I never got to a point where I thought, “okay, here’s where this bit from the first draft fits in” and copy/pasted it. I definitely had a lot of the same general scene ideas – the engineer finds out about the leaking tank, the captain issues orders to everybody, Harry and the engineer bond and talk about childhood fears, the fire in the reduction lab, Harry trying to get out the airlock – but I had different things I wanted to get out of each passage now.
I’ve also done some interesting character work, I think – I was wanting to establish the crew as being really multinational, and that didn’t come through on the last draft, so I started looking at all the countries who’ve had space programs, no matter how small, and looked around coming up with really distinctive names that obviously signify a nationality or ethnicity – and those names have informed the secondary characters and helped me flesh them out as individuals, in an odd way.
I feel a bit like I’ve been doing ‘discovery writing’ with this draft; I haven’t been trying to come up with a polished product, just get some good stuff in there, especially since I know that the Kansas crew will be able to help me figure out what works and what doesn’t. But I like the story more at this point than I thought I might.
Which is good, because there’s about five days left to finish and polish it before sending it out to my fellow CSSF workshoppers – not to mention any last changes I want to make to the Landing. Tic-toc!