The most amazing thing happened. I dove into chapter ten, “Exchanging Stories,” in my edit of “Tishta the Crystal Orb.” I was fully expecting to spend at least a week on it. I blew through it in about a day. To complete it, I had to examine chapter eleven, “Coltan’s Passion,” as well. In the back and forth between the two chapters, I finished that chapter earlier today. So, here it is, three days after I last posted about finishing chapters eight and nine, and I’m posting again.
One of the reasons these two chapters went so quickly was that I’m beyond all the shuffling around of stories and arcs that happened in the first nine chapters. It was nice to simply focus on what needed to change in the stories instead of changing their orders and trying to keep track of events and story lines to ensure they were in order and still made sense.
Like I’ve been doing, I added a lot of scene descriptions and dialogs to replace where I had written brief overviews—there is now a lot more showing than telling. It allowed me to deepen some of the relationships, and flesh out the characters some more. I was also able to show time progression better, and keep better track of the phases of the moon and the season.
I also needed to change some of the story lines to match earlier changes, but I like it better now. Since I’ve been exposing more about the two pairs of antagonists, I’ve been able to expand their personalities and to develop more of the conflict between them. The new long-distance conversations between Criften and his allies give me a much needed outlet for showing what he’s thinking and what his fears are, as well as for revealing more about his relationship with his superiors, especially, Kalef, his Master.
After spending the month of August in a rather large and detailed backstory about Coltan learning to separate sex from blood and feeding, I learned to write relatively explicit sex scenes. I’m still not sure how I feel about including them, but I think they add to the story. I already added one very near the beginning of the book, in scene four of chapter one, where I show Coltan masturbating. In chapter eleven, scene four, “An Evergreen Grove,” which some of you might remember—it was the most popular scene when I posted the original draft of the book—I added the actual sex between Coltan and Gentu. It allowed me to show some of Coltan’s continuing struggle with separating sexual passion from his desire to feed. It is also a touching and intimate scene between the two men. I like it—even I feel like a voyeur—and it will probably stay.
I’m really excited to be at this point in the book. I discovered my word count for the first two parts is more than fifty-seven thousand. It was interesting to compare it with what’s left of the book which, it turns out, currently stands at the same amount. I know I’ll be adding to that, but it tells me I’m closer to finishing than I thought—almost halfway. Very exciting!
Part three is where two major battles take place. These are places I know I showed the action well. I’ll be adding a few scenes to the tail end, which will be all new writing—I’m looking forward to that. Overall, I think I’ll move through this section fairly quickly. You know I’ll keep you posted.
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