Next big project (I expect this revision to be done by the end of the week):
I am in so much trouble.
You know how, in a “small town” everyone is related, and even those who aren’t related know the connections and hierarchy of everyone else? Kids coming in halfway through 7th grade are going to be behind until they graduate from High School.
This is the feeling I’m trying to avoid in my novel.
It’s a small kingdom. Okay, a small world. It makes sense, but it only makes sense because the reader doesn’t get everything at once. Like you would in a summary.
I’ve got my one-liner and used it about a dozen times now: Crippled girl disenchants beast but her happily-ever-after is interrupted when her new husband must leave on a quest and she finds herself facing new monsters, alone.
It’s worked 9-times out of 10. Number 10 was this morning and my audience was distracted every-other-word, so the long sentence was too convoluted to follow.
But she asked for a longer summary, and I realized I am in *majo* trouble.
It must have taken me half an hour to work through it all (I really should have timed it), even leaving out half of one subplot and all of the other. After doing detail work for weeks, I’m having to step back and ignore subtly and word craft and simply SAY:
This happens because of this to a person you care about because of this. The circumstances combine with this villain and these choices resulting in this.
The editor who agreed to look at my work when it was finished emphasized that this last this is especially important. TELL ME HOW IT ENDS, she insisted. This is the person you want to amaze and charm and that doesn’t happen if you try to be coy.
To be honest, I don’t know how to be coy (*shocker* I know). If I didn’t include the ending–before I know I needed to– it would be to save space. To give more space to the rest of the story.
So I’ve been trying to think how to keep things short when this afternoon’s already proven that’s going to be a real challenge.
In the long version I think it’s cool that one storyline tangles with another, but for this version I wish they were a bit more self-contained.
I know I’ll get there, but griping just feels good every now and then. I’ll pat myself on the back that no one has to see it very often, and I hope this will be all I say about it here.
(Done with 301 pages out of 357. Over 7,000 words in this revision’s cut-bits file.)