MAD SCIENTIST 8
Okay, reading through the beginning of The Mad Scientist’s Son and I think that the emphasis in wrong. I do think about structure more than I used to in revision because I know it’s a weakness of mine. There’s a lengthy flashback near the beginning and I’m going to have to cut. It takes the reader away from the main current of the story too soon. So not only is it a distraction but it may actually take the reader in the wrong direction. You don’t want to take the reader in the wrong direction.
This relationship begins with unrequited love. Frank keeps saying, “My friend, not my girlfriend” because he has to keep reminding himself. I need to connect this to his NEED TO FIT IN—which is important to where he starts this novel.
MAD SCIENTIST 9
So one thing I see is Frank’s POV is a little distant. I didn’t see that before. Why can’t I just see these things in draft 1? I don’t know but I can’t. And I’m not alone. Stephen King in his book on writing talks about how he finds big glaring train wreck problems in his manuscripts in revision. It’s part of the process, I guess. And it sucks because you think once you finish a few novels you could avoid the glaring train wrecks but, like life, afraid not.
Maybe sometimes. Maybe.
But now, with Frank, focusing on POV and getting closer and making him see out of his POV instead of forcing an external POV , the language is changing and I’m writing myself closer to his character.
OLD VERSION: It was then that a hologram carrier pigeon fluttered above us and landed on my shoulder. Old bird eyes stared into mine in that flat, declarative way of, well, old birds. The technology for holograms was so good now that it was easy to forget the bird wasn’t real.
NEW VERSION: The fluttering above me made me look up and there was a hologram carrier pigeon asking permission to land. I gave it and it landed on my shoulder, claws pinching my skin. Old bird eyes stared into mine in that flat, declarative way of, well, old birds. He seemed real and even intelligent, as if he had something to say. I mean more than a message.
This was a wrong thought. If I spoke it to others, they would frown.
There’s something about seeing from the inside out, working from that place inside and coming out instead of trying to force the description in-- that adds more to a scene and also helps making connections inside a character. The things I start seeing because of a closer relationship to my character allow me to deepen that character.
I’ve just got to keep on. Of course they’ll be tightening at the sentence and word level but this gives me a way into my character and story.
Or so I think today.