Thursday, February 20, 2014

The "other" baby...

(*cough* excuse the shitty attempt at anime-style characters !!)

So. The "other" baby.

You know, the manuscript that's still stuck in Draft 1, still wallowing in the throes of birth, waiting for its mommy or daddy to wrap it in a warm towel and show it some love, while their attention is fully consumed with the first born, more grown up child—the favourite!

Yeah, that one.

So I read my "other" baby over the weekend, for the first time since October 2012... a walloping one and a half years!

First of all, it's amazing how big a difference tabling something for that long makes... you really do get a super-fresh perspective on your writing and story-making "skillz" when you're able to read something after completely purging it from your mind.

Everything was fresh! Everything was new! I actually had a sense of, you know... wonder!

Secondly, it was pretty damn good! I enjoyed it. LOL. A good thing to be able to say when you're reading your own work: "Yes. Yes, I'm enjoying this. Ho, ho!"

A few things that struck me:

The difference that writing in first person makes compared to third. Not necessarily saying one is better than the other — they're each good in their own way. Just... different. If you've only ever written one way or the other, try whatever you haven't with your next MS... it could be an eye-opening, "holy perspective, Batman!" kind of experience.

The difference that scale and direction can make. Unlike the favourite, the "other" baby is much more linear in structure. It follows the main character over the course of ten days, with very little jumping around or jumping ahead in time... it's almost a straight run from start to finish. Which can help create exhilaration. It's also more epic in scope... there are geeky exposition passages about the different planets and cultures and histories and myths, and you know what... I like!

And then the bad: it's also heavily influenced by the "favourite".

Why? I dunno. Maybe I still had the "favourite" on the brain while I was writing it. Maybe going back and forth between the two, there was some sort of weird cross-pollination going on. Characters sound similar. Voices are familiar. Sequences and themes can sometimes mesh. This is not kosher!

BUT... the good news is that the "other" baby now has my attention again. I am ready to give it some love again, the proverbial "mother's tit" otherwise known as revision. And the "other" baby will, hopefully, grow into one hell of a sibling.

And maybe, just maybe, the favourite.