Given the new deadline of October (see previous post), I was very good this weekend and did loads of editing. It started out as tightening things up and clarifying the narrator’s thought process and emotional reactions on the page – the much discussed inner monologue issues. But as I worked my way through the book a strange thing happened. None of the thought processes were unexpected but, by clarifying them, I ended up changing some of the action. A couple of scenes got moved. A whole new one got added. Just by pinning down the character’s reactions, all of which I had previously thought up but just not actually written, a strong new theme emerged which changed minor courses of the story.
It’s a really interesting exercise, actually, because it proved to me that no matter how much I thought I had considered the character’s motivations it wasn’t enough. The same goes for the villain – I have been scribbling down the preliminary scenes for Corpus, which looks at the same story from the other side, and as a result some of his behaviour in Spiritus has had to be revisited. This makes more sense, really, since I wasn’t trying to be fully inside his head before but again I had thought that I’d gone through his motivations pretty thoroughly.
It makes me wonder what would have happened if I’d actually written the two books concurrently. How different would the story be then?