It’s the crap-faeries who do it. Crap faeries are related to shrink moths (the moths that get into your closet and drawers and make your favorite jeans too tight in the rear). Crap faeries take your wonderful stories and make them suck. You finish the draft of your deathless prose, go to bed, get distracted by life, and when you return to your manuscript, the story has huge glaring flaws that you surely didn’t put in there.
When I wrote this series, I wrote books 1-3 with a first person perspective, and I strove for as linear a plot as possible. Books 4-6 I wanted to try something different. For these books, I had four main characters in each one, each with 25% of the story. I’m not saying this was a completely ineffective technique, but it’s no longer suitable for a series titled “The Kit Melbourne Novels”. Kit has to be the main character, not one of four.
The original book #5,CHANGING PLACES has some good elements that I’ll be sad to lose. CHANGING PLACES had a girl who was dating a god, and a vampire who lost her money in the stock market, and a man whose migraines masked the betrayal his subconscious knew about. In the original story, Kit is laid up by a difficult pregnancy, and her brother James takes over for her as Dayrunner.
I don’t know if I can keep any of this. I’m still keeping the faerie who works at the Renaissance festivals, and I’m still keeping the modern-day private investigator whose life is an homage to his noir heroes. The vampire still lost her money in the housing crisis (who didn’t?) but it’s no longer her primary motivator.
It’s going to take a year to get the new book, CHANGER’S TURF out and ready for reading. It feels like kind of a waste to throw CHANGING PLACES out and write a new one, but when I reread it this summer, it was clear it wouldn’t do. It wasn’t my first novel (closer to my 6th) but I wrote it in 2004 and I have a few million words of prose between me and it. Also, I no longer feel that a 4-main-character novel is the best thing for this series.
I do worry that the same thing will happen with FAMILIAR BATTLES, the sixth book in the series. For years I considered it my best novel, but the crap faeries tend to get into everything, no matter how much anti-faerie-powder you spray.
But I’ll worry about that later. For now, I intend to work solidly on CHANGER’S TURF, the sequel to FAERIE KILLER so that I have enough of it done to begin posting chapters weekly as soon as FAERIE KILLER is all up on line.
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