Working on transitions today.

Building up the tension and the action is great, but if the surrounding material doesn't reflect it, it seems weird. It feels sort of flat before and after the big events, because originally the peaks weren't there.

The basic thrust Cohesion Press has had from the very beginning is that I need to amp up the action with the snakes. Geoff originally rejected the manuscript because I'd dropped the snakes once the tsunami started. So went back and wrote four chapters (one of which is AJ, the editor's, favorite scene.)

The book was much better for it.

Then, after accepting and editing it, they asked for more and bigger action, including a Queen Snake, to cut some of the subplots, and to streamline the book.

Again, the book was much better for it.

Now they've come to me for a final round, and you guessed it, amp up the action.

The action part isn't that hard to do, but the emotional reactions of the characters can be hard to adjust. I do tend to underplay the emotional reactions, and when I try to artificially add emotion, it comes across to me as melodramatic.

So I really have to work on that, feel my way, make sure that I'm happy with the results and yet manage to add some feeling.

It's all a welcome learning process, which I will be aware of with the next book.

My "Tales of the Thirteen Principalities" is fine with the slightly laid back, slightly fairy-tale removed tone I think. I'd like to think I'm doing a Jack Vance thing. (I love Jack Vance.)

But if I'm going to write creature or thriller books, I need to be aware that if I'm going to get the characters in trouble, then I need to get them in Extreme trouble, all the way through.