Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Today's writing notes:

Working on: Skydwellers third edition

Cut out another Rohui and Wilder fight because FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC. One new element of Rohui's character arc is that now he not only realizes that the Freethinkers were never his friends, but he comes to realize that his weird little adventuring party on the surface are the best friends he's ever had, and he cares about them deeply. I knowwwww that I said before that Wilder and Rohui always dislike each other, but I changed my mind. Because I am the author and I can do that. I want this story to be upbeat and full of good messages!

Also, I am never including this many points-of-view in a story again. I never had any solid POV plan for this book when I was planning or writing it--I just used a POV for each chapter that was relevant considering what was going on in the chapter. Which I guess kinda makes sense, but on the other hand I've found it hard to keep track of from a reading perspective. So that's probably not something I'll do again. I have not found much occasion since to use more than one POV in a story. (One notable exception was "Worth Searching For", which required multiple POV's because the main characters were split up over the course of the story.)

We're down to 74,000 words now! While mostly I've been cutting things out, I have taken the time to fill in spots where I feel like the worldbuilding could use more clarification. I have to admit, I'm one of those people who just takes a world as it is, and accepts that there are things about it that I don't understand and there's plenty of room for speculation, but I respect that most other readers want explanations for things.

So, for example, I've added in some brief dialogue between Rohui and Fraa where Fraa explains that "Sain" is a Graling honorific for war tanaaki, and a bit where Rohui and Miette explain to the others about how certain technology can materialize thoughts--this is how most of their processes work, and also makes it so it doesn't seem to come from nowhere (both figuratively and literally) when Rohui pulls a map out of his head a little later in the book.

Speaking of that, I'm also cutting out that bit of his character arc about realizing his psych-contriving talents, because I felt like that was a little forced, and didn't make sense--if his occupation is a newspaper reporter, I doubt he would find a sudden interest in becoming a software engineer, a totally different type of field. So now the main gist of Rohui's character arc is about learning who his true friends are. I don't think he needs to discover any special talents in order to come to a satisfying conclusion by the end of the story--he just needs to accomplish something, even something as seemingly small (but certainly not inconsequential) as understanding the meaning of friendship.

Also, in Chapter 16 I made Fraa and Kieri much more sympathetic toward Miette. Before, they had this rather harsh tone of "you're an idiot for being upset about things we don't think are a big deal", but that's really not very nice of either of them. I think Kieri's the kind of girl who earnestly cares about other people's problems, and if someone is upset she wants to help them, while Fraa is good at hiding her exasperation and is patient when helping those less emotionally mature than her. I like to think that kindness and patience, not harsh words, are what really help people change.

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