(Re)Writing God of the Hive (2)

The second excerpt for The God of the Hive is here, with more to follow on the 27th of February and March. For those interested in one writer’s creative process, each will be followed by a post showing the first draft of that section, with brief remarks about the rewrite process. I will take care to avoid major spoilers, but if you wish to preserve the absolute purity of the eventual reading experience, I suggest you stop now and just stick to the excerpts themselves, and return to the (Re)Writing posts after you’ve read the book in May.


Chapter Two as it stands was cut from a larger section, with the remainder becoming chapter five (which I am not showing here, since the excerpt does not include it.)

When I looked at my first draft, I realized that I needed to start out with a brief touch onto each set of characters. As I mentioned in talking about excerpt one, The God of the Hive is told from multiple points of view, so that, just ten pages in, we have already seen Russell and the child going off in one direction, two as-yet nameless men (the prisoner and his captor) in London, and now, Holmes heading to sea with his wounded son.

Thus, chapter two was pared down to three brief pages on a fishing boat, and the purpose of the chapter shifted to a dash of plot and a hefty dose of sensation and contrast: After witnessing Russell literally wrapped around a small child on a tightly circumscribed island, here we find ourselves with three rough males fighting the open sea. There in chapter one, all was dim and quiet and (for those familiar with Mary Russell) unexpectedly, even startlingly feminine; here all is violent motion, pressing noise, imminent death, and threefold masculinity. Whispers in one and shouts in the other; the crunch of gravel versus wildly swinging cabin fittings; but in both, a visceral determination to protect the person at hand.

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