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Now, that’s just cheating

16 Jun

Spoiler warning: Skin Game (Jim Butcher), Inferno and The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)

A while back, I posted an angst about point of view and the pacing of information reveals in my novel. My novel is, at its core, a mystery. The answers to the mystery gradually unfold for the reader as the protagonists investigate and make discoveries. In the first draft, I set a major “reveal” towards the end of the novel. The challenge was setting up that reveal without giving it away.

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Once Upon A Time: On Henry

24 Jan

Emma-Henry

I got the first season of OUAT on DVD for Xmas and have been doing a rewatch. Simultaneously, I’ve been plotting the second draft of my novel using the hero’s journey as a rough template, so I had the concept of the Guide archetype in my head while watching.

Assuming Emma Swan is the Hero of OUAT, the first Guide she encounters, at least in season one, is her son, Henry. He has the “Once Upon A Time” book, and he is constantly interpreting events and people for Emma (also, for Mary-Margaret/Snow White, and Graham/the Huntsman) in terms of the book so that she can see herself in the larger picture of what she is supposed to accomplish as the “savior.”

Spoilers through the end of season 1, with some unspoiled speculation

Write, write, write

11 Jun

Okay, so I am doing this:

2012 Clarion West Write-a-thon

2012 Clarion West Write-a-thon

to push myself through the final five chapters of the first draft of my novel. My participant page is here: http://clarionwest.org/writeathon/nancyeshaffer

From http://clarionwest.org/about:

Clarion West brings new writers to the field of speculative fiction by providing a venue for a transformative experience in the form of a lengthy and intensive workshop focusing on literary quality, diversity of viewpoints, range of material, and other essential qualities.

The write-a-thon is to raise money for scholarship support for the Clarion West writer’s workshop: http://clarionwest.org/support, which has an in-person six-week version in Seattle. Go here to sponsor me:

http://clarionwest.org/writeathon/nancyeshaffer

Two things on my new story

17 May

Matters of faith and religion in fiction and World-building

Oh, BTW, your boyfriend is the boogeyman

3 Mar

The thing about Grimm is, even though it is a bit banal and repetitive (although getting less so as it develops its mythology), it hits a lot of my story kinks, like secret identities, hidden subcultures, and family legacies. I’m liking it more and more as the season progresses.

Original fiction project – week of 9/25/2011

1 Oct

Dis/inhibition: I decided I just wanted this final proofreading over, so I set a goal of doing one chapter a day (and twice on Sundays!), and today I’m on chapter 40 out of 43. So go, me. Still on the fifth character illustration, though. Those I just get picky about, lol.

New story: I started to make good progress on chapter 7 after spending some extra time on figuring out mythology and backstory, then I hit another snag. My old novel, Dis/inhibition took place in a fictional town quite a bit like my home town, but not actually my home town. I prefer fictional settings, because if you need a particular location, you just invent it. My new story takes place in San Francisco, and while there’s a bit of play possible, if you go naming actual streets and intersections and then claim there’s a building/bridge/park there, or that a building/bridge/park was there a century ago, you can’t do anything too wildly untrue.

Well, I suppose you could, but the further from reality you are, the more you are writing about alterno!San Francisco rather than real San Francisco. And I always had the impression that one of the tools of urban fantasy was to use the accuracy about the real world settings to make the fantasy elements seem more compelling, more as if they could be true as well. And I don’t want to veer from that, not if I don’t have to. So I am having to step back once again and think through every setting I use–do I need it in the story? Really need it? Do I need it to be there?

I want to get this chapter done by mid-month so NaNo prep can start. Back to it.

Bridge over troubled waters

18 Aug

So I finally, finally finished the latest Dresden Files novel, Ghost Story. I think I am the last one on my flist to do so. Some folks gave it enthusiastic reviews, others were less than impressed. I have to admit to slogging through some tedium at times, which is part of the reason I took so long to finish it. The other part is, I only read non-interweb stuff for a short while before bed each night.

But see, there is a reason this book wasn’t the Best!DresdenFilesNovel!Ever! It was a bridge story. And bridge stories are traditionally kind of mediocre. Thar be spoilers beyond here!