I’m into a rewrite of Angel of Mortality after receiving comments from my developmental editor. Simultaneously, I’m working on the first draft of the second volume and the outline for Book 3. I believe it’s important to write on them in parallel to keep track of the time and synchronize the plots. Of course, each volume also must read as a complete story in its own right regardless of whether the reader has read either of the other two books.
I’ve noticed two points from the editor’s comments. First, in science fiction, readers want details. How did the scientist perform her experiments? How does she expand the scientific applications? Second, subplots need recognition and completion. Nothing is more frustrating than to have the novelist introduce a dilemma and then neglect to solve it.
In providing details, it is important not to give a newspaper description. The main character must experience it and the novelist must create an image. My editor compared it to hearing a movie without watching the picture. The vision is filtered through the point-of-view character’s mind, so it is essential to be in that character’s head.
I have changed my idea of what constitutes a subplot. Any matter that requires the attention of the main characters constitutes a subplot, even if it’s brief or delayed. As such, it should have much the same structure as a main plot, i.e. a beginning, a middle, and an end. Also, it must contribute to the principal story and eventually fold into the main plot. In my story, there is a subplot involving Raisa Ilyushkin’s time in Moscoe when she had an affair with Pyotr Kosterlovovich, a prominent TASS journalist. Pyotr shows up again in Raisa’s life when she is put in charge of stopping the nanobot plague. Eventually, Raisa confronts him in Russia.