Monday, June 8, 2020

Today's writing notes

Working on: revisions to Worth Searching For before I put it on the blog

Yes, I'm revising Worth Searching For again. But like I said in some recent posts about revising On Borrowed Wings, as a very high-achieving perfectionist writer, I really like making sure my work is the best it can be before presenting it to the public. And if that means revisiting older work and giving it another run-through to make sure it's up to par, I am totally okay with that. (It also means more busywork while I wait for Pixeldust to come back from the editor, and I hate being bored and unproductive, so.)

These edits to WSF will not be as extensive as my last round of edits back in early 2018 (if you want to go back and read my notes from that project), but I am enjoying the opportunity to once more pick through the story with a fine-toothed comb (er... keyboard?) and smooth out any bumps. For example, I've already altered a bit of dialogue in the first chapter to make Pharazon sound more like the personality I finally settled on for him (youthful and insecure) rather than how I had largely been characterizing him for my Neopian Times stories before that (a somewhat sophisticated intellectual). I've also been making Hyren a little less abrasive, because even though he can be kinda grumpy sometimes, I think his default is to at least speak to his family kindly.

Also, I am aware that the entire dinner scene in the first chapter is super long. But I just had too much fun interweaving a family dinner with plot exposition for people who hadn't read Worth Fighting For, because WSF is a direct sequel to that story. 

And I realize I never did actually determine who wrote Pharazon's fortune. I probably won't ever make anything of it, but I like to think it was probably some Kaia-like individual working at the fortune cookie bakery who had a prophecy and enchanted that particular cookie to go to Pharazon. They're in the right line of work.

I hope the tension between Terra and Pharazon comes across okay in the beginning of the book. What I was trying to portray is that Terra is a very pro-active, determined person with a good dose of warrior spirit, but Pharazon is very mild-mannered, dislikes adventure, and is used to his family doing all of the fighting for him. So when Terra and Pharazon are in danger and Blynn and Hyren aren't around, Terra suddenly finds herself not only trying to handle the situation all by herself, but also attempting to do damage control as Pharazon's panic and cowardice makes things worse. When things crumble, it makes Terra really frustrated as her attempts to rescue herself and Pharazon get foiled by the very person she was trying to help, but Pharazon is too busy freaking out to notice or care about his owner's stress.

Another thing I've been trying to do with these edits is make the character development clearer. It's such an important facet of this story, but I feel like in my earlier versions, there were parts where I was kind of vague about it and/or didn't have a solid enough handle on the characters to be able to portray them in a way that is accurate to later stories. I know it's sort of a moot point because of course I was able to develop them more in later stories, but keeping a body of work cohesive is important to me, and I figure there is really nothing preventing me from going back with the hindsight from later stories and tweaking earlier ones to make them ring truer to the characters.

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