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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I'm deep into revisions of Mystic Taxi, which is fun for the most part. However I tackled a problematic chapter today that needed major trimming. The pace was slooooowwww. I knew it soon after I wrote it, but figured I'd take care of it after I finished the draft. And that time is now.

A part of the reason for the section of the chapter that dragged is because I was getting too deep with my gadgets.This is steampunk, and that's a big part of the genre, the quirky inventions that use clockworks and alternate forms of energy to make them work. I went overboard on a Victorian age computer run by demon energy. Keyboards and coils and gears, oh my. Oh, brother. I had to strip most of it out. Those were darlings I didn't mind showing the door. Buh-bye.

Now I'm working on the chapter after that one, which goes a lot faster and presents a new plot twist, so this is fun. I've been going over some notes from my critique partners and found this one that made my head hurt and my eyes cross:
This lesser-demon goal is dropped suddenly upon Henry's appearance, and her goal then becomes finding the Vox box. Maybe this could be more clear if she awakes, ready to pursue the Vox goal, then reads the newspaper, considers the lesser-demon goal but prioritizes it below the Vox goal? Consider picking one dominant emotion ad goal for this scene, and get the reader involved with something concrete to worry about.
*blink* Um... no. I don't do the sticking to one dominant emotion thing. Characters are prone to feeling a variety of emotions just like real people. If I'm confused by what this critique means, I think readers would be twice as confused if I tried to do this. I'm not that formulaic. I write simple scenes with a goal, the conflict, and the dilemma that follows. Believe me, there's plenty to worry about after this scene is over. Here's the last paragraph in the chapter:
"Okay, if that's how you want to play it." He held up the metal hose containing the Snit and snapped it in half like a twig. A blue stream of smoke snaked out of the broken hose and, unaffected by the hurricane-force wind that made Henry's eyes water, it shot straight at Eloise. The woman opened her mouth to scream, but inhaled the homicidal Snit instead. She made a choking sound. The fetid wind stopped howling, and her body fell like a sack of rags to the floor.
Well, back to my revisions while the puppy's still sleeping. However, I'm draped in cats, which makes it mildly difficult to type.

1 comment:

Bob Jacobs said...

Happy writing, Karen.

Cheers,
Bob