Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Taking out the comic relief.

One of the (many) things I've been struggling with in Faerylander is the tone.

Originally, the whole book was supposed to be kind of snarky, a Faery creature's guide to Mortal Realms.  But I decided that I personally don't enjoy these kinds of books -- I like my fantasy and S.F. to be serious, mostly.  Nor did I feel that I had the talent to carry that tone all the way through a book.

It also doesn't create much of plot.  That is, you have to care about the characters if you want the plot to work, and having a bunch of humorous asides just doesn't do that in my opinion.

As I tried to make the plot more consequential, the stakes got higher and the tone definitely shifted.

Ultimately, a snarky book just wasn't the kind of book I wanted to write or read.

Still, it retained some light-hearted moments, especially with Parsons, the sidekick, who was the comic relief.

But if I've just spent five chapters trying to establish the seriousness of the Cthuhlu invasion, throwing in a light chapter really is off-putting.   If I've had icky human sacrifices and fights for survival, having a joke just feels out of place.

Then along comes a scene where Parsons plays a practical joke on Cobb and it just rings wrong to me.

In a final draft, that's where you really establish the "voice" of the book, and it needs to be engaging.  By changing tone like that, I think I risk loosing the flow, the voice of the main character.

I know that people will always come down on the side of light-hearted moments; I think that is a natural tendency.  And there are some interesting and nice moments -- but I'm making the creative decision that these passages let up on the pressure, take away from the forward momentum, and the forward momentum is that I'm trying to instill.

The Famous Author Flashbacks are a little lighter in tone, and they also go more or less sideways, but I'm going to retain those.  The rest of the plot is all about keeping the story going.

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