Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fresh Perspective

Sometimes all you need is a compliment -- am I right?

A friend of mine came to visit over the weekend, and she brought with her something I'd forgot that I even gave away -- a complete, unedited version of my first novel, Manas.

The dog-eared pages and stains on the front page were good signs before she even formed the broad smile on her face.

She was bubbly, overjoyed and absolutely hooked on the story of my superspy Zellie and her leading man, Oliver. It was delightful when she even requested that I *sign* that unbound copy for her. Ten minutes later, she'd totally shook me down for every clue and even the name of the ultimate bad guy in the series. How can I possibly deny the request of my very first, not-married-to-me fan?

And this is a woman who *reads* -- the kind of woman a publisher only wishes were hooked on his new writer. Hint hint. She insisted that I take a week off work to start on the sequel to Manas, but I demurred with blushing thanks -- I have to finish what I'm working on now before focusing back on Zellie (even though she has a kick-ass story wriggling around in my head).

Well, talk about an addicting high. Having people fawn over me for my story is just something I don't think I'll ever get tired of -- but please go ahead and see if you can! :)

Alas, nothing more on it from an agent perspective, although it's been months since the last one turned me down sans explanation. Too bad -- Zellie will have her day in the sun soon, just perhaps not as a first publication.

Onto the project at hand: my sci-fi adventure Arcane.

A wise man that I do happen to be married to made a profound suggestion to me during a recent car ride: Could you tell this story another way?

Hm, I thought. Instead of pulling the reader firsthand through the experience, why not guide them using third-person?

After the shock of the idea's simple genius wore off on my husband, who glowed with pride, I sat down at my new laptop and got to work. Converting the 10 chapters I've already written gave me some much-needed separation form the writing -- enough to edit it with a fresh eye. Scenes I'd previously loved were sliced and diced; intentional love scenes were pushed farther back to highlight the adventure; and the new perspective gave way to a gush of new ideas spurred from the concept that the reader *didn't* have to hear everything going on in Drew's mind -- a peek really was more than enough.

Ah, at long last, some clarity. Now, I'll finish Chpt. 10 and move forward with confidence Arcane is now being told in the best perspective possible. Well, at least, the best that I've discovered so far.

Also, before I end this entry, I want to send out a big thanks to another friend (who, as always, shall remain nameless) who's been reading along with my chapters. You know who you are. Also, thanks for asking permission, dude. I'm glad you are enjoying it!

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