Faerylander is still a learning book for me. After rewriting it 5 times, (35 variations!) I know the book inside and out. I've experimented with various styles and tones and structures.
I've learned a lot.
When I first started writing it, it was kind of snarky, almost satire. The main protagonist, Cobb, was a Faery creature exiled on earth who made snarky remarks about humans. But within a couple chapters I realized that wasn't what I wanted to do.
"Satire is what dies on Saturday night," said the playwright George S. Kaufman.
I don't personally care for humorous books. They have no internal tension and are carried only by their cleverness, and I get sick of too much cleverness. Even when it is well done, it is hard to maintain any narrative drive. Nor am I that relentlessly clever.
I've just stopped reading my second Carl Hiaasen book in a row. He's funny, but the tone just evaporates the story. Don't think badly of me, but I feel the same way about Hitchhiker's Guide and Terry Pratchett and most other writers whose main focus is on humor.
So if I don't like it and I don't read it, why was I trying to write it?
But I kept the light tone and I liked a lot of my inventions. I realized it was somewhat sophomoric, and perhaps even stupid, but I was enjoying it. I figured I could fix that.
But then I got to the last third of the book, and it went completely stupid. Here I have a war between Faery and Cthulhu, with humans caught in the middle, which I thought was fairly clever, but... the way I resolve it is with a gunfight?
It just didn't work.
I mean, the first two thirds would have worked if there was a more serious ending, or vice verse, but not together.
So I set about shoring it up, making the first two thirds more weighty. It did help with the last third, but it lost a lot of its original charm. All the cute but goofy stuff was taken out.
So on this last rewrite I've realized I can keep the lighter tone of the original book if I lose the stupid last third and go directly to the original ending. Works rather well.
Meanwhile, take the much more serious tone and use those chapters for the second book, and use it with the gunfight, and that also works.
Just requires lots of changes and transitions, but I do think the story is vastly improved by being split up.
So the first book is a little silly, admittedly. And the second book still has the gunfight. But both work better surrounded by other material.
The biggest problem is resolving the small inconsistencies of 35 versions, which I'm constantly finding.
4 days ago