Saturday, November 3, 2018

A story worth the frustrations.

Rearranged chapters of "Faerylander" again, ended up going through another 25 pages, which puts me 67 pages into the story. Or about a third of the way.

I'm pretty committed to this lineup. I'm calling all bids in. This is it, no more messing around.

Basically what I've done is made Parson, who is main character Cobb's sidekick, and made him the narrator of the story. It's been amazingly easy to insert Parsons into chapters where he wasn't, and then to use his mind-reading ability to have him relate chapters he isn't in.

In short, Parsons is the framing device, and as such his main job is to creates smooth transitions between the various parts of the story.

I had a lot of parts in this story that worked well on their own, but didn't flow. That is, putting them end to end simply didn't create any forward momentum. Each was well written and interesting, but didn't connect really well with the chapter before or the chapter after.

Especially the famous writer chapters. The conceit of the book is that Cobb is suspicious that Earth is on the verge of an invasion from the Dark Realms, and he's convinced that authors such as Tolkien, and Robert E. Howard, and H.P. Lovecraft, and Edgar Allen Poe, and others have seen these Dark Realms, so he goes to interview them.

I loved writing these chapters, trying to get the essence of the authors and melding it into my plot.

But every time I inserted one of these chapters into the narrative, it stopped the story cold. And yet, they are too good to leave out.

So Parsons' job as narrator is to smooth the transition between the flow of the story and these informational chapters. It's working well, I think.

This is not going to be as easy a read as many of my books, but I think it will reward the persistent reader more.

I like the density of this book. By rewriting so many times, I've worked out the mechanics down to details that I normally skip. It in some ways is what I always figured writing a book was like, reworking and rewording and rearranging until you have the best possible combination.

Ironically, my storytelling is much more intuitive, as it turned out, and I'm very focused on the pacing and flow and having interesting things happening, and not so much in world building.

So "Faerylander," as frustrating as it has been, has been a valuable experience of what it is like to slave over a book. Again, I'm not convinced this produces a better book in most cases--most likely I'd quit before I got there--but this story had enough continuing interest for me to go through all the frustrations.

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