Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Editing, continued

I got back earlier than usual from Fireside after a great dinner with some of the Fireside regulars.  As always the conversation was fun and intellectually stimulating (fun) and I learned stuff (fun.)  

I'm doing another deep edit of Masks.  I think the polish is mostly there, but I need some more on-screen protagging and also some on-screen antagging.  I had a great discussion with Mr. Levine about this that helped focus my editing efforts.

Hold on there Kami, whatever do you mean?

It's a little known fact, but many readers prefer antagonists that actually antag.  My antagonists in the book are pretty shadowy and elusive and are part of a larger team of doers.  I can't definitively say evil doers because the characters are more complicated than that--I root for them almost as much as I root for the hero.  Anyway, like a business they variously go after the protagonist with salespeople, managers, administration-generated actions and even social pressure/misdirection and advertisements.  And when all else fails they send someone to get out the duct-taped roll of washers.  

This made for a reactive dynamic with the hydra-antagonist that wasn't doing the plot much good.  And so I get to set up clearer targets, not by making them stupid, but by making the protagonist a little smarter than he appears right now.  

I also get to remove what I've dubbed Cold Comfort Farm from the opening.  It has a purpose, but not enough purpose so away it goes.  Less word count is more, at least for me.  I tend to write big and pare down to where I should be.

So Fireside was very productive, and a good time was had by all except for the characters, who would hate me if they knew I existed.

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