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Apr. 26th, 2006

Well, well, well.

I finished my hideous Fascism essay yesterday, and I think it's pretty good, thank God! Better than that hideous Russian one I wrote on the weekend. *shudder*.

But let's take a moment, shall we, to look over the 10 Point Plan, and examine what progress I've made since Monday. I think you'll be impressed.

10 Things to Do

Planning Tasks

1. Compile a list of reasons why I love Questers so much. Theoretically, this will inspire me to begin work on it again.

2. Reread what I have of Questers. I can't possibly be expected to work on it if I haven't done that.

3. Read the two versions I have of The Story and compare them. I have one version in which Tiana begins first person, Bevyn continues first person, and then Kateb speaks first person. I have another version with Kateb telling the whole story, as a sort of third person narrator. I need to see which of these I like best. I also need to consider how Kateb works as a narrator for Bevyn.

4. Finalise who the two new Sex Scandals characters will be. I'm leaning towards Nikki's mother and sister, but I'm not wedded to that yet.

5. Brainstorm the five potential endings for Lu'Mi. Give pros and cons for each, with a view to actually making a decision, once and for all, about where it is going!

Writing Tasks

1. Attempt a rewrite of Part 2 of Patience. The goal is to make Rob more of an active participant, instead of passively reading the information he needs. If this doesn't work, then I'll know it needs to be divided up and delivered more slowly.

2. Write the account of what happens to Lu'Mi, Davin, Cortan and Oin that night. By this, I mean, I stopped writing about a year ago, and left the characters in the middle of the afternoon. I haven't been able to keep writing, so it's time to set a small goal. Take them to the end of the night. (There will be alcohol...).

3. Write a draft version of Bevyn's story, with Kateb as narrator. Because I haven't done that yet, and it will definitely be important when it comes to deciding what POV I'm going to use.

4. Write one new scene for Sex Scandals. This should probably be a scene with the two new characters in, but it doesn't have to be.

5. Write one new scene for Questers. Any scene at all.

As you can see, two of the tasks have been completed:

Reread what I have of Questers. I can't possibly be expected to work on it if I haven't done that.

Brainstorm the five potential endings for Lu'Mi. Give pros and cons for each, with a view to actually making a decision, once and for all, about where it is going!

Not too shabby, eh?

My first thought on re-reading Questers was that the beginning is Godawful. You can tell I'm slow working on it, because it improves very very drastically over it's 40 000 words. The early ones are rotten, and the later ones moderately bad. I think I can do better, although I am in two minds about the advisability of yet another total rewrite. Questers, which, as I said, is only 40 000 words long, is in it's 3rd draft. I get a little further each time I redraft.

But, so as I don't get bogged down in the things that are wrong with it, let's talk about the good or interesting things I noticed about the story as I read. I haven't looked at in a long time.

1. First of all, the relationship between Aiadiam and Siral has a lot of potential in it that has not been adressed in my longterm plan for the epic. Gwynnie observes that they've got nothing in common and that there isn't a lot of love in that father-son relationship. Since Izzy Darkmoor died, they are all each other have got. I think that relationship really ought to be built on. It needs to change and grow, as Siral comes to accept that his son has just as many good qualities as his daughter did. I think the changing needs to be on Siral's part. I think Gwynnie's wrong that there's not love there. But the relationship does need to progress throughout the story.

2. Briess. Hmmm... First of all, I'm going to have to give his character a thorough cliche-scrubbing and turn him into something a bit more original. Secondly, Briess was one of the characters I was thinking is totally superfluous to the story. But that was before I started reading. Briess has his own backstory, which is, in retrospect, very important to the story. Not Gwynnie's story, but to the six books as a whole. The Great Quests need Briess, because he is Dwarves. If you follow me. He's a dwarf. But he's also Dwarves. Bam is the King of the Dwarves, and in terms of involvement in and importance to the events, he is far more important. But he's atypical. He does not represent his people, in a metaphorical sense. For a start, he's too tied up in the Black Army. He's Taheil of the SFL, for goodnes sake! No, no, I need Briess. I need him to just be a Dwarf. Savvy?

3. Speaking of Bam. *grugs Bam* I love that Dwarf. I love him from the bottom of his little black booties all the way (well, not far) to the tip of his little black helmet. There's more potential in Bam then my original plan has given him. He's not so important in the first book, but come the second and the actual onset of the Holy War, his posistion as leader of the Black Army (BIG SPOILER!) makes him absolutely vital. I think there's massive potential in Bam as a story-teller. The third person interludes are fun, and they set important background for the Black Army and the White Army. But I think it'd be just fabulous if every now and again, we saw a little more of Bam LiBundin. He's exposistion. He and Taqan, I think, have the most potential to be our exposition. And perhaps Xanthia.

4. I like what I did with Veronica and Garathan there. Hehe. Smooth.

I have a new task, which will be put into my next 10 Point Plan:
Make a list of the major and secondary characters who appear in Questers and justify the existence of each.
I've just justified Briess. But there are other characters who no longer have purpose. Bianca and Veronica used to have a point. Now they seem superfluous. What function does Leali serve? Could Bam perform her functions? Or Gert? Taryni... totally useless. Lanet and Manek could be combined into one person.
I guess characters can be justified in two ways: in terms of plot and in terms of thematic relevance. Those are the only two reasons I can really think of to justify a character taking up space in the story. Yes, there's comic relief and all that, but a comic relief character (Bia? Robert and Symyn?) should also be important in other ways.

Well... those are my Questers thoughts, anyway. Overall, I enjoyed the reread and getting myself back into that world. I want to look at some of the stuff from later on and from other books, too. I had fun dipping back into the Five Kingdoms!

As for Lu'Mi... Well, I chatted about it with Rigel and the Bunne. And last night, I wrote up my list of pros and cons, and I have really narrowed it down to two endings. I call them the Davin ending and the Oin ending.

It's really a choice between the happy but somewhat unrealistic ending or the not-unhappy compromise ending that leaves the reader (and me :()just a teeny bit disappointed. I like them both. They both say something different, and I just don't know.

Anyway... only 8 Tasks left on the list. Perhaps I'll try a writing task next. A Questers scene, maybe, given my newfound enthusiasm for it. But what scene? Most of the key scenes have already been drafted at least once! What's a fun or dramatic scene that will get me into it again, that I haven't already written? THAT is the question...


( 2 comments! — Make Remark! )
Apr. 26th, 2006 01:08 am (UTC)
Huzzah! It's coming along well, good Kayt. I think your new task could be a lot of fun. I certainly learn fascinating new things about characters when they're trying to justify their inclusion in a story.
Apr. 26th, 2006 01:59 am (UTC)
I doubt I'll be able to bring myself to cut any of them because I can't justify them!!!

But I can take those useless characters and GIVE them a reason to be in the story.

Hmmm... Robert and Symyn will be tricky. Their only real contribution is to make poor old Aiadiam look like an intellectual. But I love them too much to cut them!

*grugs them*
( 2 comments! — Make Remark! )

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