Slow Bleed

Don’t worry, I haven’t injured myself.

I’m still thighs deep in the editing and revision stage of Forever, gradually pulling this awkward beast under control, and trying not to mix my metaphors too much. My present concern is, because it’s contemporary fantasy, how fast to go with the transition from “normal” to “bizarre” while maintaining the right amount of tension around the invading “weird”.

In the case of Forever, I’ve paid quite a lot of attention to the things I like and dislike about contemporary fantasy. I dislike when characters from the real world crossover and very quickly act like their new reality is  normal. I’ve tried as far as I can to avoid a very rapid switch in favour of a slow bleed of weird but, in shortening the book, I’ve had to adjust this a bit to prevent the last act being too concentrated. I think the pace works better but it’s still a risk that I will lose the sense of strangeness I want. It’s an uncomfortable compromise.

In the past, I confess, I thought writers that made too rapid a switch were just too keen to get to the strange. Now, I suspect that the fast switch is often the result of wanting to highlight other aspects of the story and having limited space. The real test for my story will be when it goes to my test readers.

I really do like trying something different with every story, precisely because you get to find this stuff out along the way and utilise tricks you’ve learned along the way. For example, in reducing the word count I am employing lots of tricks I learned along the way doing oodles of flash fiction and how to imply “off-camera” action and relationships. Mainly, I just love learning new stuff and how to put books together. What can I say? I’m a book nerd. 🙂

What’s the biggest writing assumption you realised was wrong?

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