Today I Start HAWKSPAR Revisions

I’m intimidated. I’m staring at that massive stack of paper, I know I have huge changes to make in the first half, and some important work to do in the second half, even if I’m not expecting it to be as extreme.

So I’m going to think with my fingers, hoping that I can put together a reasonable plan of attack:

I know that I want to make Hawkspar’s involvement in her own future more voluntary, and from an earlier point. She still starts out as a slave — none of that will change. But I want her more aggressive in pursuing the changes that will make her my heroine.

I want to give her a friend, which is going to be a bitch to work into the structure of the Order of the Oracle of Eyes.

I want to interleave a hidden sub-structure to the Order, and make Tonk involvement both integral and shocking in form and substance.

I want to bring in more about Hawkspar’s murdered mother.

I want to introduce the woman in white earlier, and make her essential to the story.

I want to completely change the convent terminology of the Order … but at the same time, I’m not sure if I should. The convent terminology provides a successful metaphor for the external layer of what is going on there, so it might be that it will serve unchanged as a good disguise for the sub-structure. So maybe I need to not fuck with it. Unfortunately, this is one of those “deal with it on the first page” issues. I’m neck deep in Order from page one. I have to have my terminology, whatever it’s going to be, in place before I jump into this.

I want to eliminate the language magic. It’s beyond my one ‘gimme,’ and unnecessary.

I want to develop — to the point of usability — the secret language of the Order. This is, I know, a Geek-Alert issue, but there are going to be language geeks like me reading this book, and I want to have something in there for them. The language won’t actually make it into the book in anything but blink-and-you’ll-miss-it form; I have no intention of including anything that will slow down the action as much as hitting a sentence written in another language that doesn’t immediately include a translation. But language structure rings true in the ears of language geeks when you have it right, even when added with a eye-dropper. Maybe I can include all the language stuff on the website.

I want to increase use of the Order magic, the full depth of which I didn’t figure out until the second half of the book, and which is just too cool for words. It’s going to be my ‘gimme’ — and fits in beautifully with the physics of the world and magic I established in TALYN.

I want to cut out a few characters that started strong, then faded into invisibility, and combine them into one or two characters that make it all the way through the book.

I want to kill important characters, and eliminate the existence of any dying redshirts — this is going to be HARD. I redshirted a couple of critical scenes that could have been real heartbreakers if I’d paid my dues to those people in earlier chapters.

The whole pregnancy story line is toast. Gone from first word to last. Struggling to learn Order magic and apply it outside the Order replaces it — and eliminates some “I’m too stupid to live” moments for a couple of characters who deserve better.

The stowaway HAS to take a more active role, and matter all the way through the damned book.

The shipbuilder can stay the fuck home. He was a complete loss.

The hero has to know a little bit about what he’s getting into, even though he can be ignorant of exactly what he’s going to have to go through to get there.

The cannibals need to eat somebody.

I think that’s about it. I think.

I’m sure as I start ripping things apart, more issues will come to mind, though.

Okay. Deep breath. Table cleared, notebook ready, radioactive pen ready, bridge done and back de-kinked. Time to go to work. See y’all later.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

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