Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Doleful Creatures – Swiss Cheese

In French they call it “le paradoxe du fromage a trous,” or “the holey-cheese paradox”:

The more there is of cheese, the more there are holes.
More there are holes, there is less cheese.
So the more cheese you have, the less cheese you have.

As I look at Doleful Creatures again, I see the holey-cheese paradox all the way through it.

One of my beta readers said she enjoyed the latter half of the novel more than the first half – and after re-reading the first 100 pages, I have to agree with her. These first hundred pages are filled with those cheesy holes. And what is there, well, it makes you wish you could eat the holes rather than the cheese. So I’ve got some work to do to bring some cheese in to mix with the holes I’ve already got. 

And I’ve got to decide what holes and what bits of cheese to toss as I bring in more cheese and more holes.

Before I let this metaphor get away from me completely: I’m still VERY excited about this book. I think I can pull it together, after lucky Revision No. 13.
But I’m not going to start that revision until I finish reading the entire book, and see where the holes stand and where the cheese lies.

The first part of the book is weak on characterization – I’m more than ten chapters in  on this read and have YET to encounter Aloysius, one of the main characters from the tail end of the book. He’s there in those pages, but in an earlier form, which this book was not what the second half came to be. How did I ever think this was ready to send to a publisher? I just don’t know.

The balance here will be bringing in the right amount of cheese and holes, so I end up with what looks like a complete ball of cheese, not one cobbled together from a few cheese balls, which is what I have now.

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