So I started reading Stein on Writing last night (Hi Kaye).
My husband was reading Eragon and occasionally gave me updates on inconsistencies and mapping problems he said evidenced the author’s inexperience (i.e., his youth). Jay’s still enjoying the story, though.
I haven’t read it yet (picked it up at the used-book store and Jay got it first.)
After his comment about rivers running up-hill I submitted a plea that he draw me a map of my story. I don’t know how big a sin it is, but I have no image of my story’s land, and, as my husband has noted before in frustration, I’m not a natural at reading them either.
Basically the reading confirmed my theory that my Lindorm story is primarily plot-driven rather than character-driven. Especially after the characterization chapters, I’ve decided that I’m going to re-start my novel and write it character-driven instead.
This will mean I’m following the rules again (new work on November 1), give me a new angle, and assuming it goes to the same conclusion (something for which I suppose I have no guarantee) I expect to combine the two versions– which I hope will allow me to reach my goal of having a completed (entire) first draft.
The interesting thing to me is that as my characters have fleshed out they beg for new and bigger parts. I think the folktale structure will survive, but it will be richer and more reasonable. I already have parts where my characters are very transparent, but as I’ve never focused specifically on character as I’m writing, that’s what I want to do this time.
I can’t wait to read it. Have you re-written that first chapter?–or will you?
The rules keep me from starting until the 1st, and I’m actually going to start in a different place in the story this time– with higher tension. I really like the exchange with Torkel (the palace herald), so I might see if I can find a way to work that back in after November.
Basically I’ve spent the year getting to know these characters I created last November, and I am using the same cast in (essentially) a new novel– where instead of trying to make them serve the story, I’m trying to make everything that happens come out of who they are.
We’ll see how it goes. I’m a little unhappy about how mean I know I’m going to have to be to keep the tension up. Especially with married couples and children involved.
Yippee! Another convert. You know, Sol Stein owes me a commission! :-)
Glad to hear things are coming together and fleshing out for you. It sounds like you’ve got a great direction to move in.
I haven’t read Eregon yet, but I’ve been told it has a fantastic story…and horrible writing . ;)