Production has been rampant on the 4th Draft of the saga!
Progress is therefore slow and precise as I seek to harmonise the draft going forwards.
Major benefits are that post 3rd Draft, the book was printed asa paper manuscript and has had its first critical review by a beta reader. In some ways that process hasn’t gone entirely how I’d like it to have gone so I’ll explain more about that later.
Areas for Deliberation in Draft 4
Setting the Scene
I noticed after going through the printed manuscript that there were some areas that were very light on substance to bring a good mental image of the scene. In a lot of areas the book has become very dialogue based which doesn’t always facilitate a lot of the creative ideas I would like to put across.
This is sometimes the price of galloping through the first draft to get it finished. I am a “Pantser” in terms of how I look to put my work together, which means that I do more creative work rather than plan. At some points I’ve allowed the dialogue to run away with the story which has overshadowed the detail.
Dripping in More Foreshadowing
Now that I know exactly how the book is going to end I can ramp up the foreshadowing to cause the reader to question some of the characters and throw a shadow of doubt over who Kyro can count as his most trusted allies.
Nobody does anything entirely for the greater good. Many of the actors that will meet the protagonist in this saga have their own bubbling agendas. Kyro’s destiny will be to become a form of political entity. There are pitfalls that come with that destination. His decisions will act to define him as a catalyst for change but not everyone will thank him for that.
Harmonising the Characters
One major point I am addressing are the characters.
Firstly I am trying to make sure they are balanced so they don’t appear super-human. Nobody is without flaw. Some of the nations in the world of Shatterbone, that Kyro will come to meet, are endowed with certain improvements over the baseline Human. Kyro is a Clone and has had no real childhood to speak of. ‘he carries a certain naivety and a lack of empathy in the beginning that will fade over time. The supporting characters are limited by their national preferences, a form of bigotry. Other actors have physical hindrances or social practices that balance their positives and negatives.
It was important for there to be some forms of buffer to Kyro.
- Many characters will present as nice or at least conciliatory to him as a figure. Ultimately their stance can change.
- The large majority will know of him and are ambivalent.
- There are those few “hate his face” and it was important to determine this because in life you can’t make friends with everyone.
As I’ve been writing my ideas of names of characters and describing certain equipment has changed over time. It was important to go back and ensure that all of the events have a sense of continuity. It always bugs me watching certain action films from the 1980s. There are some jarring continuity errors in Commando (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) as an example. It was one of my favourite films from the period. It didn’t avoid a sprinkling of bad continuity salt and pepper.
Such things seem small on the surface but can quickly turn off your potential reader.
I have made corrections and alterations in draft 4 up to and including Chapter 5 of 27. There have been a few less productive weeks. I am stepping up production for a major offensive on this book. The manuscript has been ferried into work on more than one occasion, to work after hours on a few occasions.