Thursday, November 14, 2013

What went wrong?

I've been thinking a lot about what went wrong with this first book (back) Faerylander.

I started with a "high concept" which I liked -- roughly, Cthuhlu versus Faery.  Nothing wrong with that, except there also has to be a story.

Then I was into "ideas" -- again, nothing wrong with that as long as you don't forget the story.  But the ideas should be "in" the story not "of" the story.

Third, I started with the wrong tone.  I meant it to be sort of ironic, satirical, sarcastic, funny.  A Faery creature's observations of the human race.

Now I can be semi-funny in my writing, more so than in real life, but it sort of happens randomly and in response to other contexts.   I can't do it to order.  So I immediately was settling for sort of lame shit.  I had the same problem with the S.F. bookstore story I attempted.

Hell, I don't even like reading these kinds of books.  Christopher Moore, Terry Pratchett and so on.  But I'm very impressed by them.

Because, as they say, tragedy is easy, comedy is hard.

The other thing about having an ironic tone is -- how do you make the narrator sympathetic and how do you make the characters deeper?  It probably can be done, but I realized I didn't have the chops.

So I've had to go back.  Make the characters and the story serious, make them sympathetic, make the story be about what happens to them.  And sure enough, I think I can do that.  Though it is ten times harder to go back and put that in -- than to do it in the first place.

But live and learn.  I had to have that first book (back) experience to move on.

Besides, I'm starting to really like this book again -- because I'm liking the characters.  And hopefully that will translate to the reader.

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