Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Though this be madness, yet there is method in't

The last time, it was the ravens. Every time they showed up in The Novel Formerly Known as Linger, everything went sideways. The problem was, they were important. Really important. On the level of theme, and symbol, and plot. So I couldn't just slice through the Gordian (Corvian? (sorry)) knot with my pen and cut them out of the manuscript.

The thing was, it wasn't really the ravens (collective noun: unkindness) that were the problem. No, it was the places in the book where the ravens (collective noun: storytelling) were showing up. Those were the tricky bits, the places where things started to fall apart, or come together. Places where the center of the story had to hold.

I needed one draft, and one very significant rewrite before I knew what the center was. Once I did, I stopped being haunted by ravens. (collective noun: murder).

This time, it's the Wild Hunt. (I am aware that at this point, those of you well grounded in Celtic mythology, are rolling your eyes, and thinking, well, Kat, what else did you expect, putting such things in your books.) The first time they showed up, I wound up slashing 5K words, and then writing about three times that amount, putting off bringing them back on stage. I've done some fairly unfortunate things to my pov, trying to come up with a way around needing them. (This might be easier if I didn't think the Gabriel Ratchets were just about the cutest things ever, and kind of want one.)

But the Hunt is riding, and I can feel the story running ahead of me, hear its laughter on the storm. I am trying to hang on, and praying I'm not its quarry.

5 comments:

  1. Oh... Am so excited about this story. I love the Wild Hunt, much as I love all the mythical and old, old, old things that haunt your stories (in the best way). I think I love their appearances even more because you handle them so gracefully and they're the type of thing that I just have no skill writing about, but admire heartily in the work of others.

    Also, I, too, have bought my WFC membership. So, fingers crossed that we can rock some fabulous outfits... I mean, be serious writers... at a San Diego reunion.

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  2. Thank you. I am glad that I am also excited about this story - it makes working through the days where I get maybe 300 words and each of them take forever to get on the page easier to bear.

    And I am quite looking forward to being fabulously dressed serious writers with you in October. Hurrah!

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  3. I'm right there with Megan -- I love the Wild Hunt. And I love methodical madness (and that Shakespeare quote).

    I'm looking forward to what this story becomes. :-)

    As far as fabulous dress, have you joined Ideeli? I just discovered them the other day. It's a giant online sale place, where different things are offered daily. Each sale block starts at a designated time, and the prices are fantastic. I can email you an invite to the site, if you want it. It's free to join. No worries if it's not something you're interested in. ~Ali

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  4. Thanks Ali, for the kind words, and the fashionable offer. I'm familiar with the site, so I don't need an invite, but I appreciate it.

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  5. No problem, Kat -- on both accounts. :-) *raises coffee mug* Cheers!

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