State of the Golem – June, 2020
An online friend asked how I was doing with the novel. Here’s an overview of where I am at the moment, and a sneak peak at the rewritten beginning.
I just finished a solid sixth draft of the novel for a class from Joe Bunting called 100 Day Book. In March I had a novel diagnostic from Story Grid Certified Editor Danielle Kiowski and got a ton of really detailed and useful feedback. One of the big suggestions was addition by subtraction; transitioning my first chapter to a prologue, cutting it by 2/3s, and changing the POV character from Clay in First Person to someone else in the Third Person. That will lean heavier on the mystery in the beginning and provide more narrative drive going into the first chapter. Then I’m cutting most of the first five chapters and rewriting them beginning In Media Res instead of doing a bunch of worldbuilding and exposition, which was interesting to me but not as much to readers. Finally, I’m making things harder for Clay across-the-board as readers have been saying things are too easy for Clay. The common wisdom is that conflict drives story but Orson Scott Card clarifies that as struggle drives story. Clay needs to struggle more, and I’m working on that right now.
Here’s a bit from my rewritten Prologue to paint a picture and set the stage:
“I wasn’t always a golem, and I haven’t always been a detective, but you have to start somewhere.”
~ Clay Golem
A ruthless storm ravaged the land the night of Clay Golem’s arrival, as if Nature itself knew something unholy was taking place in the abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the forest city of Rhonesgard. Rain lashed the side of the former chapel in giant waves of water and the wind shrieked through gaps in the walls like a banshee.
But the lightning was the worst. It ripped the sky and pounded the rocks and shredded the trees. The assault intensified until, at last, a gigantic jagged pulse of pure energy rent the air and smote the icon on top of the old steeple with an ear-splitting concussion, and the earth trembled under the strike.
And then, silence.