Monday, November 05, 2007
Here's the high contrast version of the black and white image from the block of four I posted Friday night. Having done the edit, I may as well post it.
I'm going to keep this entry short, for the usual reason. Having spent the afternoon asleep, I don't want to blow the benefit by staying up later than I already have. I do have some good news to report, however: minor good news. I wrote the next letter from Sandy to Jace and sent it off to Sarah, my collaborator on that project. Afterward I read the letter from Jace that precedes it, and realized that Sandy's letter needs to be revised to respond more directly to what Jace says. Still, it's progress!
Of the other fiction projects I have going:
1. The fairy children story is on hold until I think of some way to make an actual story of it, and have it be less cutesy and annoying.
2. The shadow realm story is in the "thinking it over" stage. I'm going to let it percolate for a while.
3. Black Rose Kate has a backstory I'd like to tell eventually, but I feel no urgency about it.
4. Ariel's adventures will probably wait until I've covered Kate's history and the second adventure of Ariel's father, Joshua Wander.
5. Joshua Wander is currently in jail for robbery and unlicensed magic, and Rachel, the ghost JW loves, is investigating who could have framed them for the crime. I've never plotted a mystery, and this has elements of that. I'll solve it eventually, though.
6. Heirs of Mâvarin (as you know, Batman) was recently rejected by DAW as (according to the form letter) not being truly outstanding. Before I send it out again, or query some more agents, I want to see whether there's anything I've missed, any awkward old sentences I can fix, any cliches or gaps in story logic I can rectify. I suspect that any problems the manuscript has come down to two things. One, as a story I've been fussing with intermittently for over three decades, it inevitably has text I wrote long ago that is too familiar to me for my brain to tag it as awkward or maudlin or otherwise deficient. I need to do a closer, more observant reading to find those. Two, and more problematic, the plot hinges on a common fantasy trope, that of hidden royalty. There is also something that strongly resembles a counsel (not council) meeting, followed by a party of adventurers on a quest - sort of. Sounds too damn familiar, doesn't it? The meeting isn't much like what happens at Rivendell, but still it's going to remind people of that. And most of the people on the road together are basically going home, and don't travel all that far anyway. Still, there are echoes. The hidden royalty thing can't be dumped, as it's integral to the story, the characters and the theme. I have to find a way to sell it as a new take on that concept, which it is. In lots of books, someone becomes a prince or princess as a reward for getting through the book, or else knows all along who they are and just have to survive to claim the position. For Carli and Cathma, the revelation is a catalyst for profound changes in their lives and priorities and even personalities. The whole point of Heirs (and Mages, actually) is that external forces help to change who we are.
7. Mages of Mâvarin is really close to being done, but I've lost momentum and it needs a really thorough, picky edit and rewrite, with careful attention to continuity: magic and language issues, timing and so on. I think what I really need to do is start with the Heirs edit and then continue with Mages.
8. The Mâvarin Revolutions and 9. Prince of Mâvarin, the sequel and the prequel, are strictly something to play with while working on the other stuff. But I may yet get through Jor's death scene, if I can just figure out how it ends!
Out of all that, I think my front burner projects are the Jace and Sandy story, the Rona Sable shadow realm story and the Heirs edit. Let's see whether I can get some momentum going, finally!