I've set this week aside for ruminating
It's very hard. Like a cow with her cud, I'm just chewing things over.
I keep reaching for my story to try to cover up the holes I know are there. And then I stop myself.
I'm just going to keep rolling ideas over in my head. Aerating them so they turn to good, fertile soil. (Which is mixing metaphors, I know, but I'm still going with a rural theme.)
When I go into the Lands next time I want to be able to really see the story and how to strengthen it, I want more of an over-arching approach. Rather than the just sit-down and write and then wonder how the heck that got there.
So I'm ruminating. As the kids build and crash towers and we shiver in the playground (well, I shiver, they run) I'm teasing out themes and trying to remember if I got round to including the scene where the dragon flies down and delivers the emporium to Smith Street. Should I include the passage I wrote on Pixies... and ended up leaving out as my self-imposed deadline loomed nigh. As pixies clean houses in return for a few sequins, I think they're important in a world created by women. But are they too twee? Does that matter? Should I just work on creating un-twee pixies - Lani Taylor created brilliant un-twee fairies in her Dreamdark series. It's not impossible. And if I'm the Lands are a repository of lore saved by women over 77 generations, then it's fairly certain some twee stuff is going to get in. There are four generations in there of Victorians and Edwardians. I'm thinking some tweeness probably does get in.
Should Nell actually meet a pixie, or should she just be told about them?
And more importantly, how should I bring out the entire evilness of the evil one, Mazarine? I was listening to Jenny Crusie* talking about conflict yesterday and she was saying you need to love your antagonist as much as you love your protagonist - as yet I do not love my antagonist. But is my antagonist really Mazarine, or is it Nell's mum, who is preventing the sisters from reaching the Lands of Lost Lore and opening their shops, but only because she loves them and is afraid of Mazarine? I do love the Mum - maybe she's really the antagonist, stopping the sisters doing what they want, but for good, if misguided reasons. Hmm. Let me ponder more.
Anyway folks, I've posted another few chapters of Dragons' Nests and Fire Berries (Working title) up the top in the tabs! I'd love to hear anyones thoughts!
*Jennifer Crusie & Laini Diane Rich of Dogs and Goddesses and The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes have started a series of online writing lectures called the The Writewell Academy It's not all up yet, but I'm enjoying what is up - the visuals alone would do it for me, they crack me up every time. It's so nice to listen to people talk about writing whose writing you actually love and respect.
I'm not so keen on being talked at, and because it's so much slower to listen then read I have to do two or three other things at the same time, but some very interesting points to ponder and exercises to do.