Fire and Hemlock. #ya #fantasy #fairtyale retelling gets 3/5 stars. I love #dianawynnejones as a general rule, and there's some brilliant stuff going on here... But ultimately not a satisfying read, largely for the (spoiler alert) icky older man romance - she's 10 when she meets him! And he's a divorcee (therefore adult) at the time! I know fantasy mechanics allow immortals and teens to fall in love regularly, but in this case, it's the way an adult nurtures the relationship from age 10-18ish that really puts an icky face on things... Stellar character writing, nevertheless. Full #bookreview at http://goodreads.com/review/show/1686303756 #writing #kaiespace
So I managed to cut a good 10K words out of the manuscript by scraping out all the storylines involving secondary characters, except for the bits with Haynfyv and one scene with Maria, and preliminary scenes where they first show up. At this point, I think I’ll be able to feed those in to the second book to build out the world and cast a bit more there, but it does streamline things for the first book, which seems like a step in the right direction. Still considering pulling Haynfyv and Maria out of the first book entirely, and letting Ravel and Serov carry the antagonist roles… or maybe just Ravel? Push Serov to second-book villain, and keep Maria in reserve for the big boss role? OR something… maybe beta reader feedback will be helpful on that front, or second round edits. It feels so strange to fill something out, and then prune it back like this after sweating for every bit and piece of it, but! According to Stephen King’s On Writing 10% rule, I’m right on track with a 10K reduction out of a 100K word story, so that’s nice.
On thinking further (and writing a review) on Fire and Hemlock, the brilliant Diana Wynne Jones book, I’m feeling a little better about not scripting elaborate storylines based on brilliant classical literature. Brilliant is brilliant; but the experience as a reader was a bit lacking, and contemporary taste seems to run more to simple, direct and immediate payoffs, whether in emotion or action. However, there’s still room for crippling inadequacy when considering her excessively insightful characterization. Her story people are unparalleled. British writers seem to have a bit of a corner on this part of the field; Pratchett comes to mind as well, for capturing recognizably human traits with wit and ingenuity. So. Jealous.
Start time: 2:45 pm