I’ve gotten started on the RIGHT ANGLES TO FAERYLAND revisions this week. Bryant did wonders with converting the Word-built HTML into something I could actually work with, but there are still some format issues, so I’ve been going through, reading the manuscript and correcting the formatting. It’s pretty fascinating, reading something I wrote in 2002 and haven’t looked at since 2004ish.
The comment I kept getting about it when we sent it around all those years ago was it was structurally very nice, but needed characterization work. Most of a decade on, I can see they were right. I simply couldn’t see the problem back then. Now I can, but in this first pass I’m not really trying to address that yet. It’s going to take more thought, and will (hopefully) feed into improving the two storylines I *know* need work.
There are a lot of places where I have a dialog tag and then an action in separate sentences, where it flows more smoothly if the tag is cut and the action is placed alongside the dialog. Right now that’s the kind of thing I’m fixing, while I’m also re-reading it for the first time. Very much detail work.
I gotta say, though, in terms of structural craft? I don’t think I could do any better now. I knew I’d done well with it, but re-reading and recognizing what I’d done, how the five childrens’ stories unbraid from one another and then braid back together, I’m still genuinely thrilled with the quality of the work.
When I’m done revising this, I am–nervously–going to give it to my 8 year old nephew to pass judgment on. I’m personally having a hard time telling if it’s a book written for children, or for adults who used to read all of the books that inspired ANGLES. Ideally, of course, it’s both.
This is the last time I’m going to mention the Revision Commission. In fact, I’ll probably close it sometime this week, ahead of revisions being finished at the end of June. So, with that in mind:
Back to it. :)
(x-posted from the essential kit)