It’s quite a thing when you’re reading over your manuscript and this really key plot-point is really worrying you because it’s nowhere near as strong as it needs to be, and it all hinges on the actions of this one character to make it feel believable and carry the story forward, and then it turns out that this character is actually totally undermining it and you wonder why, why did you even bother.
I mean this is tantamount to Gandalf going to the Council of Elrond and being like: ‘I mean I think this is the One Ring. It could just be this other ring, though, I mean I might be wrong. You don’t have to take my word for it or anything; actually that’d be kind of stupid, it’s just one person’s opinion. I just have this feeling, but you don’t have to listen to me, it’s like whatever.’
This is my brain on writing. It is all fixable. But seriously.
It feels very strange to be reading over stuff I wrote barely two weeks ago, if even that. And the fact that these changes were, at the time, calculated attempts to bring the story back on track and have turned out to just be derailing it slightly differently is just kinda frustrating. But also amusing. So it’s not all bad. My futility is most amusing to myself.
Better discoveries in re-reads are the bits that work pretty well but just need to be relocated and/or expanded upon, which is the kind of work that almost does itself. And there’s more of that here than the other stuff, the parts that more or less need to be restarted from scratch, or chopped in half and then sutured together with something that actually makes sense, and hope that it doesn’t reject the new implant. So I’m definitely happy overall with what I’ve managed with this revision.
Also, discovering other books that have similar elements to your own before yours is even written is always heartening. Not so much central premises, because there are only 27 stories or whatever, I don’t really believe that but stories do tend to repeat each other. I mean peripheral elements that go along with your central gimmick, like writing a superhero story where the villain has cancer and then finding another book about a superhero where the hero’s girlfriend has cancer. It really takes the wind out of your sails when you find somebody else has discovered that neat little twist you spent … I mean literally minutes of your life coming up with. I mean imagine coming up with Hush, Hush only to discover that somebody already wrote Twilight.
Oh wait, that’s the point.
Only six and a half chapters to go now, yay! I’ve also been reading the Artemis Fowl graphic novels, the first one and The Eternity Code. They’re good. The characters look nothing like how I imagined them, like almost as far from what I imagined as possible, especially the fairy characters, but the art is undoubtedly very good. Though I actually like these comics primarily because they make me want to re-read the originals. The condensed format really makes it apparent just how much is going on in these stories, especially the first one. Sadly I didn’t manage to get my hands on The Arctic Incident graphic novel, which is my favourite of the books. Though I do have the audiobook, which I’ve had for a few years now and have never listened to. Maybe it’s time to get on that. And also buy the last book, just to complete the story (and my set). It got rather tired after The Lost Colony but still, I have fond memories of good old Arty. I feel he’s earned my commitment.
Maybe when I reformat this blog (aiming to have it done before New Year’s) I’ll kick it off with a series review. On this series that started over a decade ago.