- Because it’s less than two weeks until the launch of Black Hole Sun, I thought it would be fun to revisit some old blog posts. I’ve been blogging about writing since 2004ish, and it’s interesting–if not embarrassing–to read some of the things I wrote before. Today’s blog redux is a post about the novel that would become Soul Enchilada. It was about 45k in length at this point but would grow to over 90k words. It’s the last time I would write short and add, instead of writing long and cutting.
I’ve managed to read my marinating manuscript twice since unwrapping it. As promised, I read without a pen or pencil, and on the first run, I only wrote down comments two times. Both comments were for new ideas that popped in my head as I read, and I knew I would forget them later. On the second pass, I made no marks at all, although I was sorely tempted, especially at the end where there were many typos. Here’s what I gleaned:
- I like the main character. She’s still the cool, trashy-mouthed girl whose attitude started this whole thing. Her character arc is solid, and she’s strong enough to carry the story. She slipped out of character a couple of times, especially at the end, and she was too harsh in one segment. Easily fixed.
- I like the bones of the story. It has a solid three-part structure and a clean, satisfying ending. The bones need more meat in places, especially at the beginning of the third act and the second part of the second act.
- The plot is too linear. See #5 below.
- I like the secondary characters. They are interesting and/or likeable.
- The secondary characters need more of a character arc. See #3 above. Both will take some work.
- The setting is lame. It adds nothing to the story or to the larger cultural context. I need a new place, one that will amplify the story’s culture. This will require a few passes to accomplish.
- On the whole, the story needs depth and resonance.