Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I've now reached the journal section of Journal of the Dead, and I do have a few places marked for major revision, add notes about XYZ ... so far, I feel as if I'm in control and making the changes that I wanted far more extensively than if I had chosen a less in-depth editing method.

Looking at my notes before I started writing the novel, I had a few additional named spirits. Now editing, I am glad I removed them. Trying to keep Davius, Parik, Kazhe, Parashi, Ihseye and Astennu distinct in my main character's head is quite enough ... and I'm fairly sure I don't always succeed with Ihseye. (For those who are curious, all female names have an h in them, usually silent: so the middle three are ladies.) If I were up to a sweeping edit, I might remove her - but she's one of the sorcerers and I need her magic. Ahem.

Another idle note about the naming conventions: I had decided at the beginning that female names usually end with an i or an e, and almost never a ... wow, you wouldn't believe how hard that is for a Western brain. Consonant endings are supposed to be almost exclusively male-only, but I do have one break from that later - Atsihl. Anyhow, it definitely provides a flavor to the names.

As for Scylla and Charybdis ... ow. Major ethical dilemma as to what Anaea tells her best friend, who has pleaded with her not to explore the mysteries of the station, but you can't tell her nothing, it's a serious breach of trust (and hypocritical besides) if she lies, it is emotionally damaging if she tells the truth ... at the suggestions of some folks on my writers' board, I decided to make an expansion to handle this, but ...

Now I worry about the pacing of the whole novel. Over 10,000 words, and I'm still on Themiscyra. After that I have eight (!) sections tentatively planned: a brief stop in the male-civ, a brief stop in the female-civ, an interlude in the Sanctum (from whence Gwydion came) before Anaea decides she isn't going to flee madly from hiding only to return there; an arc in the male-civ where she's just trying to live and let live; an arc in the female-civ ditto; a return to the male-civ with more active intentions; a return to the female-civ ditto ... and then a mad rush back to Themiscyra for close. This last bit may change depending on how the intervening goes - heck, the second half may change depending on how the preceding goes.

Anyhow, if each of these comes out long? I have an unwieldy, unsaleable novel.

I've told myself not to worry about it: I can come back and edit out, even reshape the early plot, if I need to, but trying to artificially truncate would do more harm to the beginning than letting it run long would.

Still ... argh.

No comments: