Okay, I knew it was coming, but that doesn’t stop me slightly resenting it. I mean, this should be the fun part; the bit where I take a novel and pull apart to be put back together again in a beautiful form that flows seamlessly from one scene to another telling a beautiful, exciting and thrilling story in a way that keeps readers pinned to the pages.
Still bloody hard work though!
So, I finished my read through of Clash and I’m happy about it (especially the last fight scene; I guess I’d forgotten how tense it was since even though I wrote it I was kinda on the edge of my seat and rushing to be sure that everyone was okay! They weren’t all okay, of course, but that’s part of what its about). I know I would benefit all the more from being able to print the MS and look at it that way, but I don’t have the printer, ink or the money to do that right now. A shame, but true. So I’m working on it electronically and then, after the move, when I have the second draft down I can print that and see how it looks.
Anyways, so I have pages of notes that I have to use, clearing out in my mind exactly who my characters are, what backgrounds have brought them together and ironing out some of those kinks and creases caused by writing for speed back in November, rather than for quality. I’ve made some decisions with regards to the Animal Kings and also about two of my protagonists. It was a tough call, but I think with this relationship between Michelle and Aaron, the story will play out that little bit smoother and carry through a bit more tension. To coin a phrase from LWC. Not that the story is lacking in that particularly, but this added edge lays an extra layer of tone down on the tale which can be read two ways. I’m looking forward to getting into that.
Also, when I was looking back over my notes before emailing them to myself, I noticed that there’s yet another later that can be read into the changes I’ve made.
You all know that the Chronicles of Narnia are heavily religious right? I also ended up in a conversation with a friend and my sister about atheism vs agnosticism and found myself in an interesting little place where I can think about it a bit. Anyways, this links back to Clash with the way I’ve written the Animal Kings and manner in which they reveal themselves to Followers. On some levels it might smack of Christianity (which, incidentally, is how I was raised and is how the Chronicles of Narnia read), while towards the middle it leans towards a Wiccan or Pagan (which I followed for a short while) sort of feel. Then, towards the end, you get an idea that would probably upset all manner of organised religions. I’m not going to go into it (spoilers are bad! :p) but I find it really interesting and I might play with it a bit more. Not in a vindictive or deliberately upsetting way, but just to say ‘actually… did you ever consider this?’ And, now that I think about it, there are probably religions that do consider the idea that I’m using.
Food for thought for me.
That aside, I’ve been through the prologue and I’m happier now with it than I was before; especially with the references to the war between the animals and the sickness. I think from that, I’ve got a good base to start building a background as to what happened without lots of exposition in my narrative. That, after all, can be clunky and boring to read and I don’t want to do that. If I can introduce ideas gradually into the text, by the time they become relevant, my readers – that’s you guys! ^_^ – will already know what you need to know.
So… bring on my next free moment that I can spend a few hours re-writing. Lord knows when that is, what with my move, but I’ll do my best.