"Flame on." -Johnny Storm, The Fantastic Four
Anyway, The Mrs. has a blog, over here. The Mrs. used to be a myspace blogger, but has come over to the dark side of blogger. Funny thing is, we were sitting on our computers snarking at each other, back to back, not saying a word, each tied to the Internet on our own computers. The funny thing is, this is how we argue in reality. So, have a look at our world . . .
Backstory: The Mrs. is a writer. You should buy her book here.
I had a book epiphany today. The kind where you just stop everything you are doing and think, “My, God. That’s brilliant! I am such a genius!”
My incredible idea was that I should swap the back story part of book 2 (The Second Seal) with the one in book 3 (already written and currently gathering virtual dust on my hard drive).
Speaking of back story, here’s a little on this whole predicament:
All of the books in this series have four major storylines. Three of those are set in the present and the fourth is set in the past. The fourth storyline fills in the gaps in the other three and gives the reader a historical perspective on the rest of the plot. Except in The Second Seal. It didn’t really do that and I have spent no small amount of time trying to figure out a way to make that happen. However, all of my ideas fell a little short.
I made a small change in a secondary character that tied him directly to the fourth storyline in Book 3 (I allude to this a bit in #2, but not a lot. You’d really have to be paying attention to catch it.).
The difficulty is in convincing my husband/writing partner/editor to do it. Because he is in love with the section from Book 2. I think this is because it is the last part of any of these books that he actually sat down and wrote. He loves it and is unwilling to change certain parts of it (more on this in an upcoming post). He really doesn’t want to make the change. I just think waiting until the next book is asking a lot of the reader, especially when it might help to know more about what is going on in Book 2.
I apologize for being so vague, but I don’t want to let any spoilers slip out.
Dear The Mrs.
It was (really, Internet) my idea to tie the two. There wasn't a tie, and this makes the two parts sync together like beer and chocolate pudding. Trust me, that's better than it sounds.
As we discussed today, we already went over the tie from the historical plot to the present, and, well, yes. I like the old plot. It would make Fitzgerald weep with envy. It is so good it would make Hemingway want to take a shotgun and . . . oh, my bad.
The beauty of this tie (in my opinion) is that it brings together two of the present plotlines, provides a real reason for one of the character's actions, but yet doesn't explain just who The Old Man is. It's simply too much to pull in The Old Man along with the other characters and not end up with Madolyn Smith's (yes, that's spelled right) description of her husband's writing in Funny Farm:
You have a flashback, a flashback in a flashback, and, what is this? A flash sideways?
No dear. It's good. It was good before you rewrote the whole damn thing. Now it's even better. Stop before you become Andy Farmer.
With hugs and bunny kisses,
June 28, 2007 10:44 PM
The book was even good with the Italian Assassin.
Paging Mr. Machina, Mr. Deus X. Machina . . .
June 28, 2007 10:45 PM
Leaving out the whole "This doesn't make sense/It's not supposed to make sense" argument, the tie between them is exactly why these two should be in the same book. Like I said to you the other night, it's okay for the characters to be confused, but don't leave the reader wondering what the heck just happened.
No. It wasn't. No plot device in the known universe was as bad as the Italian Assasin. But, at least I now have new lows that I can aspire to.
June 28, 2007 10:50 PM
No, you establish that they're father and son. You just don't show he's Darth Vader (yet).
It worked for Lucas. He didn't cut off Luke's hand until Empire. Empire was the best movie. You don't want to add Ewoks next, do you?
And, really, the Italian Assassin (not a Sylvester Stallone movie, really) wasn't all that bad. Sure, he just was a version of Basil Exposition, but he died wonderfully.
Oh, and Internet? We're sitting on our computers, back to back, writing this in our living room. She's listening to some crappy music, and I'm thinking about putting some Mojo Nixon in.
June 28, 2007 10:55 PM
The Ewoks had their own cartoon, thank you very much! I'm just saying that it leaves TONS of unanswered questions at the end of the book. Afew of those I don't mind, but I think this leaves too many.
And the Foo Fighters, Audioslave and Flyleaf are not crappy!
June 28, 2007 11:04 PM
Sure. The Ewoks had their own cartoon. So did M.C. Hammer.
No, it doesn't. You DO hit the main plotline, there's a truly beautiful ending. This is ancillary, and similar to wondering if Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's manager had difficulty signing up new acts after his headliners got waylaid on their way home from Hamletstock. No. It is CRUCIAL to The Third Seal, but a sideline in this book.
Foreshadow. My freshman English teacher told me that. Of course, she also told me to spell "fulfillment" as "fofillment" on my Frosh term paper.
By the way, (subliminal advertising)EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU READING THIS SHOULD GO OUT AND BUY SIXTEEN COPIES OF THE FIRST SEAL RIGHT NOW. (/subliminal advertising)
Point taken. Foo Fighters and Audioslave are not crappy. Flyleaf? Neverheardof'em.
Something tells me your readers are going to be amused by this byplay.
June 28, 2007 11:25 PM