I have been stuck on this book for a few weeks now. And I’ve done my best to walk away and think of other things, and then come back and change little bits of it. But it’s been an uphill sort of climb. Today I sat down on such a horrible anniversary (16 years somehow) and remembered a thought I had last night as I watched Game of Thrones and drifted in and out of consciousness. I really like watching the show but it’s filled with what I think are some real missed opportunities in it’s structure (something the books have no trouble with, they are amazing/I used to rip pages out and tape them doors and walls, in the hopes of learning their secrets through either osmosis or repetition). It started to get me thinking about The Novel and how I have split it into books, chapters, and parts, and yet if I was being honest, the cohesion and symbolism in each contained sector was barely scratched by my own fumbling hands (I should start taping pages to walls again, I guess). So anyway I sat down and wrote out the contents of the book and tried to figure out what was going on in this, the third section, in an attempt to pin down what might be missing in the chapter I am stuck upon, or what could be polished a bit more to help me connect the part I do know to those mysterious empty pieces I can’t seem to find.
here are the chapters:
part 3 - out among the echoes
10 - magician’s monthly
11 - the child
12 - in the home of the hollow
13 - whispers in the dark
14 - the return of the hax
and my findings:
july searching to become a magician, lots of flashback, mostly flashback
the child being selfish, think a lot, not sure what to do, makes a choice that propels plot
july flashbacks, set up dark world in novel, makes a choice that propels plot
mostly plot…set up relationship…catching reader up on what’s happened, waiting.
14 become a magician, flashbacks, set up their greed….propels narrative, waiting in the dark.
chapter 14 is the one i’ve been stuck on. And writing this out made me realize that what all these chapters have in common is the idea of waiting/hope. Each of them is waiting for something and hoping for an outcome.
-a girl named July Hollander is waiting to become a magician, and hoping to find enough magical magazines to win a contest where she is interviewed in them
-a child in ninth grade is waiting for the end of a terrible day to go on a filed trip, and hoping to sit next to a girl that he likes, while at the same time, waiting to find out if the gun his friend brought to school is something he should tell someone about, while hoping his friend just brought it to scare people (he didn’t).
-back to july again, she’s now reading magazines with a broken leg, waiting for it to heal and hoping she is safe from a man she calls the hunter (she is not).
-this one was the hardest to pinpoint, because it’s already 20 pages too long and meandering as hell. It involves the martian and the elf sitting on an asteroid in the dark, waiting for their magical slipstone to transport them away, while hoping the stone works it’s magic soon, because they can hear noises, and they know their not alone in the dark world.
-which brings us to the viking known as the hax. who is standing astride her own asteroid below these two, listening to their conversation. she is also waiting for the stone, and as a magician, is hoping to learn more about the strangers above her and their bag of spells, which they have dropped below to her feet.
And hey! I write weird stories and I really like them. I gotta go write now. thanks for being with me as I figured some of this stuff out.