Redux: You’re Not Half as Ugly as the Other People Here

Redux: You’re Not Half as Ugly as the Other People Here

  1. Because it’s less than two weeks until the launch of Black Hole Sun, I thought it would be fun to revisit some old blog posts.  I’ve been blogging about writing since 2004ish, and it’s interesting–if not embarrassing–to read some of the things I wrote before. Today’s blog redux is a post about the novel that would become Soul Enchilada. It was about 45k in length at this point but would grow to over 90k words. It’s the last time I would write short and add, instead of writing long and cutting.

I’ve managed to read my marinating manuscript twice since unwrapping it.  As promised, I read without a pen or pencil, and on the first run, I only wrote down comments two times.  Both comments were for new ideas that popped in my head as I read, and I knew I would forget them later.  On the second pass, I made no marks at all, although I was sorely tempted, especially at the end where there were many typos. Here’s what I gleaned:

  1. I like the main character.  She’s still the cool, trashy-mouthed girl whose attitude started this whole thing.  Her character arc is solid, and she’s strong enough to carry the story.  She slipped out of character a couple of times, especially at the end, and she was too harsh in one segment.  Easily fixed.
  2. I like the bones of the story.  It has a solid three-part structure and a clean, satisfying ending.  The bones need more meat in places, especially at the beginning of the third act and the second part of the second act.
  3. The plot is too linear.  See #5 below.
  4. I like the secondary characters.  They are interesting and/or likeable.
  5. The secondary characters need more of a character arc.  See #3 above.  Both will take some work.
  6. The setting is lame.  It adds nothing to the story or to the larger cultural context.  I need a new place, one that will amplify the story’s culture.  This will require a few passes to accomplish.
  7. On the whole, the story needs depth and resonance.
By | 2010-08-17T07:00:13+00:00 August 17th, 2010|Inklings|0 Comments

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