Tuesday, April 12, 2016
I have a beta reader for Doleful Creatures who has no idea what she’s done.
When she finished reading the book, she said she wanted more hope for Jarrod and Aloysius, my two main characters. And that the beginning needed more of the “magic” of the ending.
So that’s what I’m doing.
And it’s doing wonders.
I hope I’m doing it with character – helping the reader to get to know the characters better as the hope and the magic arrive. That’s my goal, anyway. And it’s coming through simple means: Familial scenes, a tiny bit of philosophy, and the introduction of at least one other character. Plus more definition for what happened in the past, and how it’s driving the future – bits that were missing through thirteen revisions of the novel.
I hope I’m doing what director Peter Weir says he did (and I believe he accomplished it) when he was working on “The Truman Show”:
[The script by Andrew Nicol] was kind of perfect for what it was, but it wasn’t right for me. It’s an odd thing, and the only time I’ve ever had something that I did admire, but wanted to change, if I did it. And that fundamentally came down to one major sticking point for me. For me, Andrew’s draft was like a brilliant speculative science fiction. If I looked at it as a movie, it had to be light where he had it dark. I wanted to make it real, not science fiction. I wanted to make it just the near future, if you like, which it turned out to be.
Not that Doleful Creatures is the near future – but it is an alternative look at a philosophical reality. I hope by adding hope and magic that I can bring that philosophical reality out of the fringe of the book and to the fore.
Editing note: Editing today was hard. I had to cut about 300 words. They had to go. And it hurt to cut them because they were part of the original novel. But they no longer fit. They had to go.