Thursday, February 23, 2006

That darn butterfly

Yes, I'm a slow writer where fiction is concerned. I admit it. Between waiting on the baby to be born, the siren song of the Olympics (boy, have those Austrian ski jumpers coated their skis with some sort of anti-gravity material or what?) and other unavoidable distractions, writing has progressed very slowly on Europa--even more slowly than usual. Fortunately, it is progressing, so I take some solace in that.

A while back, I mentioned how this rewrite is of an order of magnitude more involved than previous rewrites I've undertaken. I had no idea. Tiny, seemingly insignificant changes made early on in the story to address structural problems have, well, reverberated through the rest of the story, for lack of a better word. Almost everything I'm writing now is new. Yet I'm writing existing scenes. See, the context, motivations and character have changed so much that I can't simply play Tetris with existing scenes by plugging them into their new slots. It's almost akin to what Card did with Ender's Shadow, which was essentially a rewrite of Ender's Game from a different viewpoint. The frustrating part is that I'm not certain the new version is an improvement on the original. I think it is, but as the writer I have that whole forest+trees thing going. Anyway, here's a taste of the new stuff from last night:
"Wait a sec... What is that?"

"What's what?" Sabine asked.

"There. Didn't you see it?"

Something with a hard and flashy sonar profile glinted at me from the seabed. I dropped the probe, curious in spite of myself. There it was again, buried amid the rippled beds of Epsom salts and sulfur... Ice. I'd found subsurface ice. The smooth, irregular dome hid centimeters below the powdery surface.

I lowered the manipulator arm, pressing its tip through the salts to take an analytical taste of my discovery. I could parse a simple compositional breakdown without the Kargel's assistance, after all. A tiny stream of bubbles wobbled up.

Methane. My heart fluttered. Methane!

And while we're on the subject of Europa, yesterday I stumbled across Europa: The Ocean Moon. Sure could've used that a couple of years back, when I was scrounging through old back issues of Icarus to dig up as much actual factuals on Europa as I could. I still want it, but $89.95 is a tad steep. Even for an impulsive type such as me.

Now Playing: Stevie Ray Vaughan The Real Deal: Greatest Hits vol. 2

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