Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Stars Are Fire, Act 1, Chapter 1

So I have finally actually begun my rewrite of the "Horatio" book that I'm currently calling The Stars Are Fire. Is that clear enough? No? Well, it doesn't matter. I'm writing again, is the thing. I moved pretty well forward through the opening passages during lunch, but I think I need to move the killing (of course there's a killing in the first chapter; this is my book we're talking about and once again, I predict a fairly high body count) to a point much earlier in the chapter. Just because blood, you know, is compulsory. It's all blood, you see. No excerpt to post just yet, as it's all still in longhand. Maybe tonight, if I'm ambitious and figure out at which precise point in the narrative the to-be-dead guy gets corpsified. I have a feeling it comes right after the line "I wondered if Fortinbras would have any regrets when he died."

I also have vague plans for drawing a parallel between the field of battle spattered with blood and a map of the cosmos, and talking about how one combatant is in Cassiopeia while the other is in Orion or whatever. I might not, though. It sounds complex and inelegant and likely distracts from the bashing with swords and all. Still, I sort of like it and it works with one of the major themes of the book. We'll see. Also, and this is even better, I think I'm going to be able to reuse some of the text from the previous version of the book in this chapter, so that's a win.

18 comments:

  1. Pray, my lord Bailey, to what do we owe the honor of three posts in one day? Such felictiy from you is most unusual.

    Congratulations on being able to use some of the chapter from the previous draft of the book. I'm all for recycling.

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  2. Lady Anne: Okay, enough of that. Really. It'll go to my head.

    I have no idea if I'll get to recycle hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of words from the previous draft. My guess is hundreds for the chapter I'm writing now. I sort of want to redo the whole thing with brand new prose, but on the other hand some of that stuff was okay. We'll see.

    Why three posts today? Because--I think--I have a fever and my post on the Literary Lab was pretty vague and poorly thought out so I'm staying away from there. Or something.

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  3. I didn't take my computer with me on my trip last week. As a result, because I just can't control myself, I tried to write part of a short story longhand. It was maddening. Maddening!

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  4. "Oh my god! A pen! And paper! What am I supposed to do with these? Aaagh!"

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  5. That's great, Scott. And lots of murder. Oh boy.

    Davin, that's hilarious. Poor you, kicking it old school.

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  6. Okay, I'm IN LOVE with that cosmos idea. I love that scene on the ice that you've got in the book. It is so vivid in my mind still.

    Blood. Every book should start out with blood!

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  7. Michelle: I agree! After I typed up my opening scene, I read it back and thought, "Gosh, Michelle's going to think this is awfully familiar." I managed to work the constellations in, too. I think it's going to be very cool. The more planning and brainstorming I do on this version, the happier I am to be redoing the whole thing. My latest brilliant idea? King Hamlet and his brother, Prince Claudius, are fraternal twins! I know!

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  8. Fraternal twins? No way! How do you come up with this stuff? I moved a ton of stuff around with my Monarch rewrite. A TON. And I took out all the dang jungle stuff, too. Now I've put it back in. Go figure. I just need to trust my gut more when I write. I'm going to try and do that on my Cinderella story.

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  9. I was thinking about constellations and astrology, and then I thought of the king, and I thought of the constellation Gemini, and it all fell together in my head. I spend a lot of time just sort of daydreaming about the stories and pushing possibilities around and against each other and seeing what looks interesting. This is why I always have a pen and paper on me: inspiration can hit at any time. In a few weeks I'm going to research poisonous snakes. We'll see what sort of ideas I get from that. The more outlandish and difficult-to-write the idea, the more attractive it is to me (like the elephant in "Cocke & Bull"). So be bold and weird with Cinderella! And I'm looking for my copy of "Monarch," too.

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  10. Monarch is getting closer. I just have to finish the end and add in the last flashback. I'm still shuddering at the flashbacks, but I think they are working. I just hate flashbacks in general, but that's because they rarely work.

    I usually whip out my netbook if I have a great idea while I'm out and about. If that's not there, I stick with pen and paper. :)

    I'm going to be bold with Cinderella, yes. The whole idea feels cliche to me right now, but with where I want to take it, it's a bit freaky-weird and really, really dark. That excites me!

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  11. I have flashbacks in "Cocke & Bull." They're in present-tense, and the rest of the book is in past-tense. Go figure. I'm not sure about it, but I'm going to try to make it work. The book also starts with dialog, which is alleged to be a no-no. Whatevs.

    Really, really dark is good!

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  12. Yes, really really dark is good. I've never written anything really really dark, so we'll see what happens.

    You know, as for the rules of writing, screw them. I should start my next book off with dialogue and weather. That'll show 'em.

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  13. A prologue, all dialogue, about weather.

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  14. Take I without typos.

    Now that sounds good!

    You know, I still think Monarch is so completely cliched. I open up with a dead body, there's a spy, and beautiful women who the spy sleeps with. I mean, come ON. But people like it, so whatever. And I like it, so even better.

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  16. I mean, Take II

    Oh, gosh, just ignore my slippery hands.

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  17. Cliche? You know, it's like Rick Daley is always saying: it all depends on execution. "Cocke & Bull" has two main characters with cliche names; they're criminals involved in a love triangle. How many hundreds of times has that been done? But I don't worry about it.

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  18. I stopped worrying about it a long time ago. I figure if people like to read it doesn't matter.

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