So, Friday I finished up with the last chapter of Peri, knowing I wasn’t quite happy with it, and I spent all weekend mulling over why. Long story short, I’m opening it back up today to tweak the last two chapters again. To be honest, if I can pull off what I want to do, the entire story will need minor shifts in a handful of chapters, but if it’s the last two they culminate in, so that’s where I’m headed today.
This has been a weird one to write, and most of that is because it’s still new and I’m finding the layers. It’s sort of how you get to know someone. You can’t get to know anyone within that first date, and you can’t write good fiction in the first, second, or even third draft.
First impressions are what your date is wearing, how they talk, body language, who they are trying to be–this is like the rough plot, as in “this is what I the writer want to accomplish.”
Then you get to know a few things that the public doesn’t, like family, interests, stuff that makes the person something other than they want to be–this is the motivations that move the plot and make actions make sense. This is what the work is actually saying under the action and adventure.
Thirdly you start to know the person well enough that you can predict what they like, don’t like, how they will react, more intimate details–now we’re into the lies the characters tell themselves, how they fight against their own best interests, find complex interactions and feelings that move the story, sometimes in a big way. This is where I’m at with Peri, and though I love this part as the knowledge gained here is the stuff that really opens the world up for me both in scope and interest, it’s kind of a pain to have to go back and do another rewrite, even if this rewrite is the one that will shift the work from potential good to actual good. Fortunately it will be a fast one.