Wednesday, April 9, 2014
What feedback that I have received for Realmspace indicates that those who are reading it don't hate it, but neither do they like it enough to take it further. Now as all most of them have to go on is the first 2 or 3 chapters I can only conclude that for one reason or another the opening of the book doesn't have enough to hook people. Even something that doesn't fit into one of the nice safe, saleable niches, can make it out there if it can hook the reader early.
Looking at Realmspace overall I think it's strong, and I have had one beta reader say that she didn't get a lot from the synopsis, but the narrative voice of Dancer was enough to pull her in and keep her reading on, so that's something, but it still had to change.
It is why we have drafts after all.
So I'm making changes, I'll start at the beginning because I'm odd like that, and work my way through the whole thing.
They're minor changes. I'm not suddenly going from first person to third person, and at this stage all the characters will remain as they are, and I don't think I'll add any new ones, although a few minors could have their roles increased a little. Overall a lot of it will remain as it is with a few cosmetic alterations and the never ending grammatical and punctuation corrections. The basic plot is also the same.
So what is altering? The chapters or journal entries as they're titled in the book, won't be cold openings anymore. Each one will be prefaced with a paragraph that pertains to the contents of said chapter. Yes, I'm going the 'gnomic utterances' path (thank you Diana Wynne Jones and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland). I've been toying with the idea of doing that for a while, this just pushed me over the edge with that device. Realsmpace doesn't have a sage as such, unless you count Og-Dog, who does sometimes seem to serve the same purpose.
I've also noticed while writing the second and third Realmspace books that I've probably created a few continuity errors for myself, so this will afford me the opportunity to fix a few of those up.
As I've clearly made the decision that this is a series composed of standalone adventures I may also change the title of the opener and bill it as a Realmspace book.
I think overall it will add more depth and make the character and the work itself more accessible to readers and that is what it is really all about at the end of the day.