I was going to start on War Veteran again now that I have done the first draft of the Easy River to Success revision. I like to wait a few days before going back to the whole story and reading it through. But when I sat down I really started to feel conscious that there was something missing from my preparation. The story is a satire on the common fantasy tropes. So far the main satire I have found is the Michael Swanwick book, Iron Dragon’s Daughter, which I haven’t read. I think I ought to first.
At last I’ve got a plan for the last scenes of this story! I was struggling I think because some of the ideas I was coming up with were too complex and would have required quite a bit of explanation. The trouble would have been making the story too long just to explain properly what had happened, but without seeming too forced. In fact the idea probably were a bit forced. Nice ideas at the time, but they wouldn’t really have worked. For instance at one stage I was googling silted harbours and seeing how Benetus could be made to cause the silting up of the capital’s harbour as a result of Arax’s mischief. But really would anyone believe that could happen overnight, and how could Arax make Benetus do such as thing.
Just an update of progress on what I have done today apart from writing this blog!!
This morning and lunchtime I had a good look through Stephen’s feedback for my story Easy River to Success. I think I see what he means, the scene with the demon is a bit cheesy and stereotypical and then leads to a final scene that in some ways doesn’t make much sense, for instance my main character changes from a clever politician to a cat burglar suddenly. I also allude to things too much, the sin of trying to be too clever by half!
So I read through the whole story again and made a number of notes on how to change things. Basically the last two scenes need a complete rewrite, although I might keep some of the bits of good description, and the character of the demon needs development work. I think the story will come out a lot stronger. I’ve even come up with an improved metaphor for the spirit-river. Each spirit has a portion of the river and the nature of the river reflects their power and personality, thus Arax’s portion is a large foetid morass!
I doubt there will be any progress on War Veteran today.
Great a Monday! I’m up early to do some writing. In the shower I remembered that I actually have a short story that is not working a market – i.e. I have had a rejection for it, but I haven’t sent it out anywhere yet. I had some very good and detailed feedback on it from Stephen Theaker at Dark Horizons, so I really should act on the feedback, see if I can make some edits and send it out. That will by my first priority today.
I also need to work on the development of the characters for my “War Veteran” story (this is the working title at the moment). I now have the historical background traced out enough for me to get into the meat of the story. I am sure I’ll need to go back and work out some elements further, but I have enough to be going on for now. First up I think I need to give names to all the main characters. I find that if I don’t do this I will end up writing some notes on the main character and have to refer to other characters he interacts with as person X, or The Wife, which although this is perfectly helpful, does dispel the aura of the story somewhat. As the writer, even I need to suspend disbelief, so filling in some of these details early really helps.
I have also synchronised files across my home PC and laptop.
I’m hoping to do a bit more now before work and then continue at lunchtime and then maybe this evening. Time is always a problem!