It's amazing how completely I've shifted to re-writing mode -- compared to creating the original stuff I was writing over the last year or so.
I'm down and dirty with Faerylander right now. Trying different things, moving things around, changing tenses and viewpoints. Just messing things up. But out of the mess, a clarity begins to emerge.
I've felt that Faerylander can be a good book but I've also felt it was... missing... something. I wasn't sure what. I've re-written it over and over again. I'd figure out at a flaw and re-write the whole thing.
But it still wasn't happening.
So I'd re-write it again. And each time, I'd sense it was improved but still not there.
Three years later, I'm deeper in the shit than ever. Part of me is OK with it. I mean, no one's going to read it anyway, and that really frees me to do it the way I want. But really, the way I want is probably also the way it should be.
Anyway, the first four chapters have been redone now about five times just in the last couple of weeks.
Last night, I thought to myself -- "I need to humanize these characters." And I got a couple of ideas how to do it. In some ways, it also fleshes out the secondary characters, because it's the main characters responses to these secondary characters that humanizes them.
So in the first chapter, I realize that the bad guy can be explained by his relationship to his father, which required making his father a stronger character. And sure enough, it really gave some depth to the chapter that wasn't there before.
So I started to think about my main good guy in the second chapter, and the same kind of thing happened.
I needed to have them both of them ruminate on their situations. Have a little more inner dialogue so we can feel what they feel. I needed to show how the good guy is a good guy and the bad guy is a bad guy.
And a theme developed that I hadn't even thought of before.
The main character in the first chapter is so full of anger and hate that he relinquishes his humanity and invites the Old Gods in.
Meanwhile, the second chapter has the hero trying to decide whether to return to Faery or to remain human. In the end -- for heroic reasons -- he decides to relinquish his Faery persona to become human.
So -- you know -- there's a parallel or an opposition. A didactic, a dichotomy.
Anyway, the way to explicate it is by showing just how disgusting Cthuhlu is -- and how wonderful Faery is. And to show how the villain chooses to go toward the awful for selfish reasons, but the hero chooses to turn away from the beautiful for unselfish reasons.
So that's the second thing that occurred to me -- that I need to have some poetically descriptive passages for these two realms. Show how awful Cthuhlu is and how wonderful Faery is.
I also more or less decided that instead of cutting all these little ideas I've come up with -- I need to develop them and integrate them into the story. So for instance, the idea of Cobb being the "Protector" was dropped in some of the later drafts, but is being revived again to show that he's a 'hero.'
In the second chapter, with the hero -- I had muddled motivations, therefore a muddled narrative. I was trying to do two things here -- one was his conflict over whether to remain human, because of love and because he admires them.
And the other was his need to remain human in order to discover and fight the Cthuhlu.
Obviously, they're related. But I had the Cthuhlu entering early, which just muddled the whole narrative.
So tomorrow I'm going to try to separate the two.
Part 1. Cobb has to decide whether to remain human or not. He hears whether his exile will be ended or not.
Part 2. He feels the invasion of the Cthuhlu and it reinforces his decision to remain human.
So it sort of simplifies the two things, by separating them instead of mixing them, even though one follows the other.
I'll tell you what -- anyone who has read this far. If nothing else, all this shows is how much I think and agonize over this shit. That no one cares about.
2 days ago