Well, not all plans work out. I last posted about my plans for chapters seven, nine, and what was then ten (now eleven) of THE VOICE OF PROPHECY.
Chapter Seven worked out pretty well, I think. Chapter Nine didn’t. I followed my plan with the mini-flashbacks and still just wasn’t in love with the result. So, I went back to the drawing board.
Chapter Nine had three main parts (which were not necessarily separate scenes). The last, which is now a separate chapter, allows one character to reflect on what had just happened and reveals to the reader a few things this character knows or suspects that he hasn’t–yet–shared with the others. That stayed. It had to be a separate chapter because it needs to be in his POV and the rest of the chapter isn’t anymore.
Right before that is a discussion of the current problem, along with a magical experiment to test a hypothesis. That has been revised a bit, but basically remains intact.
The first part, though, was mainly a retelling of something that had happened in the first book, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE.
That part is what needed work. The mini-flashbacks helped liven it up, but just not enough. So the next thing to do was decide just what I needed out of that part.
Now, because this is book two of a four-book series, sometimes I need to include things that aren’t immediately important, but will become important. (Like Harry Potter had to go through Professor Lockhart’s Dueling Club in order to learn the expelliarmus charm that he would ultimately use to defeat Voldemort.) But, you know, I don’t necessarily have to spend pages to establish it.
I’d already added a short “The Story So Far” at the beginning of the book. So, the information is there for anyone who needs a refresher–or who didn’t read the first book. What I chiefly need that part for is to expose an unusual magical gift that Vatar possesses and that he hasn’t had a reason to bring up before now. (Like Harry doesn’t think it’s unusual to be able to talk to snakes, until Ron and Hermione tell him.) And I found a way to fold that into the second part above. So the whole retelling can be cut to just the parts where the retelling is interrupted by one of the listeners for clarification. Much better.
Now it’s on to Chapter Eleven and what can be cut from there. I suspect a great deal can be included just by a quick reference later, rather than drag the reader through it.
The point is to get to where things really start moving quicker.
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