caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Finished first revising pass on the Last Quest arc, which is thematically a cascade of heroic descents into, and escapes/rescues from, successively more profound hells of one kind or another.  This happened more or less by accident, but is now being sharpened and accented by design, because it's so well-placed to foreshadow the corresponding public hell-harrowings attempted by our heroes in the Rising.  This re-emphasis also builds up and draws together the matter of the Curse.

Also, I now know why Katy is so ignorant of such a horrid lurker on her threshold, until Kate and Luke make it... impossible to overlook any more.

I'm now moving onto the Wassail arc, which I pretty much made up on the hoof and which needs to be purged of considerable process-writing and dead-ends.  The numerous characters of Fairfields will want to be made consistent with their later development and portrayal in the Rising, and the exploratory sections repurposed to fit with events later in the book.

Before I reach the Rising, I ought to have some research materials I've ordered, which I need to get Garcastle and its sketchy community into a truer focus.

In my copious spare time, I continue exploring the broad frontiers of my ignorance about West African history and culture, in order to be somewhat better-informed when I finally get past this epic and onto Deity & Decolonization/ Fatal Exploit/ Translation & Transgression/ the One About The Chocolate.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (three katherines of allingdale)

The Deed of Katy Elflocks: A new 2,000 word scene composed last night and this morning, to retrofit one of the thorns in Katy's side from Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland, and make the portrayal of the Dales more consistent between the two stories.  Also planted a couple of Chekhov's guns, so that they're not just pulled out of my ear in Killer-Kate.  Pulling guns out one's ear is not, I'm told, considered best practice by the cognoscenti.

I spent most of the last week donkeying through the major structural critique of Three Katherines as a complete novel.  What came out of this:

1) I'm going to go ahead with the two-part story in strongly differentiated voices.  First, the theme's expounding in Alan Eaton's lighter, terser, more courtly and satirical fairy-tale of Katy.  Then, the development and resolution in Hick-Mack-Heck and Sairey Salt-the-Stew's denser, fiercer, more grounded and committed folk-epic of Killer-Kate.  The Lord Dunsany knob is turned higher in Alan's style, the William Morris knob in Hick and Sairey's, though I think they're both recognizably modes of mine.  The authors don't explicitly intrude themselves into the tale at any stage, but it helps me to have a fair sense of where they're each coming from.

2) The unfolding of the untold middle tale of Kit Fox seems to more or less work in Killer-Kate: again, I'm going to leave that part of the structure largely as it is, give or take a bit of modification in detail.

3) The Rival Revolution subplot doesn't need much more work than I just supplied it.  The Lord Evil, Puffin Superior, and Diplomatic subplots will on the other hand require significant structural changes, not least because they all bear on just what exactly everybody is fighting for.  I've donkeyed up some of the legal, customary, and folk-historical groundwork over the past week, and shall start the Political Rewrite shortly.  This won't - or shouldn't - add to the proportion of politics in the story: it's about rooting it in local reality, and about making the characters' actions mesh more reasonably, whilst removing patches of pointless intriguey filler that never went anywhere.  It's by far the biggest and most critical section of the rewrite, and will certainly involve at least three new chapters.  It may also involve the disappearance of one or more of the existing ones: can't see that far ahead, yet.

Anyway, the job's begun, and I'm writing actual story again!

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: Finished the big donkey-work project I need to begin my actual revision - namely, compiling a complete list of all 122 first-draft scenes, with the contents of each summarized in a sentence or short paragraph.  Armed with this map, I'm ready to begin some actual revision at last, starting with the major structural and logical issues, and working down to successively finer levels of detail.

The 'Prelude to Revision' posts will be continued as and when I can, as commentary alongside the revision as it progresses.  Just now, the sense of what I need to do is coming to me faster than I can articulate the whys and wherefores of it.

My first job is to go back through the Rising and the Embassy plotlines, and cause them to:

a) Make political and character sense, from the beginning, in the light of everything I learned before the end; and

b) Respect a consistent geography and calendar.

This is the hardest and iffiest job, since it involves proving the story's internal logic good, and must therefore be achieved first.


caper_est: caper_est, the billy goat (Default)
Working on the plotlines, my first job has been to compile a useful list of the major characters in Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland. One of the issues that came up quickly is a structural issue for the whole of Three Katherines of Allingdale, and makes me think I'll do well to keep the thirty-year gap unfilled if I possibly can. It's the question of what the major political players are doing in it.

Narrative uselessness and structural uses of good royals in an aristo-sceptical fantasy. )
caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)

Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: First chapter notes on the sequel to the Battle of Carrowglaze.  Of course the bloomin' thing has immediately fissioned: three chapters and epilogue to go, once more!  Still, it's progress.

What this short transitional Chapter of the Flowers is doing, is letting up the pressure between the recent intensity of the Battle and the coming intensity of the Family Fight.  The latter is just too dense and wracking to follow directly on from the former.  So I'm making a virtue of the contrivance I'm using to get one character where and when I want them; and having Kate's second embassy to Garcastle go the long way around via the lower ends of the dales, between which runs a road that can reasonably bear a carriage.

That gives Kate & Co. a little more time for their grief, and for waking to the strange new world their deeds have brought with the morning, before I bring us to the discord that introduces the true chapter of Mother and Son.  It also lets me move some crowded material about the rival Saturnist revolutionaries in lower Langdale, out of explanations and epilogue.  The Saturnist lollers are... just a bit of a problem, in the sense that militant proto-Maoist Anabaptist friars on crusade might not have been the Diggers' dream allies in the fields we know.  So now we're going to see a little of Luke's response directly, instead of slipping it all into later exposition.  This yarn isn't really about Folk Saturnism at all, but surely is about its wellsprings and about Katy's alternative, so I have to weave a fair deal of that matter into the borders.

I'll start the Flowers directly, while I'm still working out the structure of the subsequent chapter - seeing as I know what I need to feed through already.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: 240 words. The Big Bad driven off - just how far she's 'defeated', or otherwise, being somewhat open to interpretation. She slipped a really dirty one right between the lines, even as I started writing this post. How did I not notice that whilst finishing the scene itself?  It's totally in the spirit of everything she's been up to for the last six chapters.

Now Carrowglaze the Dull Tower is fallen at last -

John and Liz and Beggar Bill
Knocked the hog from off his hill.

But my Bad Baron, the Blue Boar of Carrowglaze, is still charging around with all his knights below it - and it's going to take more than a rabble of Beggar Bills, even with Kate's and Luke's banners to rally them, to bring a herd like his down.  The last fatal surge of the battle must follow.  The way it's looking, I think I'm going to have to start pulling away, looking wide, retreating into the rhythm of the tales that will be told of it after.  Anything else after what's happened could only come as anticlimax and false tension.  The finish ought to strike the reader as foredoomed when it comes, and that was true even before what the Big Bad just dumped inside my head.

The close of this chapter will also close this whole Rising arc, and I have some hope to get there over the weekend. 

Then the short climactic Bonfire Arc, and the long-planned Epilogue, and the tale will be told and done.

caper_est: The grey wolf in the red gloaming. (golden kate)
Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland: No words, but the structure and sequence of the Assize and Battle of Carrowglaze - which take up this whole chapter between them - finally laid out properly. Now to walk around it until I see, feel, and smell everything I need for the next transitional scene, until I can take it to the beginning of the real action: Enter the Bad Baron.

It's going to be a long, hard, and eventful chapter, with a lot more than the originally-planned action pack going on in it. I'll be well satisfied if I can conclude it by the end of the month.

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