Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I'm feeling more comfortable with Journal of the Dead as I progress through the edits. My impression when finishing the first draft was that I had a mass of vaguely connected, over-complex tendrils, elements that were added practically deus-ex-machina to solve the problem of the moment. In the rereading, however, it has an unexpected cohesiveness. Some things need a bit more groundwork, but that's pretty easy to retrofit. There is a lot going on, weaving in and out of my narrator's life ... but all of it fits together. Everything has its place.

I am pleased how much the lives and advice of her spirits truly influence Rhiane. Just having the spirits there as passengers and comic relief would miss the point, to me.

Scylla and Charybdis still trundles along - I have just entered Chapter Two. I've done something I don't usually care for, a "fake-out" cliff-hanger at the end of the chapter, in which an apparently critical problem turns out to resolve in the first half-page or so of the next chapter. I may or may not end up removing it. Possibly this doesn't bother others as much as it does me; certainly I've seen it in plenty of published books. (That doesn't mean it's a good technique, just that it's printable. Ahem.)

I am very pleased with the first real conversation between my main characters. I even got to use an element that wasn't on the radar in the short story: Gwydion makes a reference to evening prayers. I am not so pleased with how Anaea gets into a supposedly restricted area, but I can't really make it much more difficult without making it outright impossible.

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