Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Unconscious serendipity...

I'm Beta-reading a book for a fellow author, since she was kind enough to do it for me on OT, and I don't like it. The story doesn't get started until page 72; everything prior to that is unnecessary...and repetitive to the extreme. It's a sci-fi/fantasy work, as well, and while I can enjoy that genre, it's not my favorite. Plus, I know she wrote it and edited it very, very quickly. got me to wondering about The Vanishing of Owen Taylor and whether or not that's what I've done in the story. I had one Beta reader suggest starting the story when Jake arrives in Palm Springs and fill the rest in as he goes along, and I did try it...but I wound up keeping the lead-in with Jake meeting his stepmother in Paris. I think I got the set-up going good by the end of the first chapter, and that meeting and some things the woman said to him keep resonating throughout the story.

Still...I went back and reread some of it, just to see how it went. Make sure I wasn't deluding myself. And discovered I'd done a complete circle back to the beginning of the story. Not just referencing the meeting in Paris, but also referencing when Jake kneels before Tone and all but begs him to be honest with him. At the end, it's Tone kneeling before Jake and saving him from crashing into total being completely open and honest with him.

I didn't overtly plan that. Didn't even see it till today. And, son-of-a-bitch, it makes me fucking proud of what I wrote. But I don't consider this just an ego boost; to me, it's affirmation that I'm doing right by my stories. And will continue to do so.

And that's the problem I'm having with this book. I mean, I'll finish it and give her my notes, and hope they aren't too brutal. I'm not even considering talking about her style, and have only noticed a couple of typos, so those comments will be minimal. But it is viciously obvious to me that she's not listening to the characters. She's not letting the story flow through her. She's telling it what to do and it's fighting her...and I don't think she can see that. To be honest, I don't know if she ever will see that. And since these are not my characters, I can't force the issue. But it's sad to see them in turmoil.

And if that doesn't make you think I'm totally and completely off my rocker, nothing will.

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