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My, That Was Long

I've finished reading the three books I'll be revising.

The first, SAND, has the proper amount of plot, but needs to be rewritten.  The best description I can come up with for its main problem is "tense prose."  It's as if all the words are stressed out and rigid.  They need to relax a little bit.  A large bit.

The second, STONE, has too little plot to justify its length.  And there are two places where I felt like shouting, "Oh, look! Convenient plot device placement!"  The writing isn't as tense, but it is needlessly verbose.

The third, DUSK, would have better prose overall if verbosity hadn't barged in with drunken abandon.  I must have been going through some writing stage at the time--one that required me to write the same thing in seven different ways, and prevented me from picking just one for the purpose of the story.  And there is waaaaaaaaay too much plot!  Yeesh.  It might end up being split into two or--better yet--its first third might become the end of a more tightly written STONE.

Other problems... 

There are some worldbuilding issues that result in under-motivated actions, and it's obvious I was working out the politics in the writing process and didn't settle on them until the last half of DUSK.  Those two things result in more than a few WTF? moments throughout. 

In each book, there is at least one place where the answer to, "Why are the characters choosing X instead of the obvious and better choice of Z?" is frankly, "Because I wanted to write about scene X instead!"

Mistakes of inexperience, methinks.

What I like... 

The characters.  Love 'em.  Still got happy reading some scenes, and still liked much of the dialog.  Still like the setting, and the way interactions with other lands from other novels (like CHANT) are dropped in here and there.  I still like the overall story arc, for all that I'll have to play with it to make it work for the reader.

What will challenge me...

Writing in multiple third POV.  Unlike CHANT, I don't think these stories lend themselves to omni.  However, my alternative is to use seven viewpoint characters in the first book, and that expands to ten by the end of the third.  Someday, I will write a novel from a single viewpoint.  But it will not be anytime soon.

The bigger challenge will be dealing with the sibling incest and family dynamics.  Yeah, that. 


Blair MacGregor

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