Shortening Maggie and lengthening Kes
I’ve spent the day trying to rip superfluous paragraphs out of SHADOWS and being glad to have the opportunity to think/feel that Maggie’s voice sounds pretty much the way I hear her when I’m trying to write her story. She’s a very articulate senior in high school but in her sixty-year-old chronicler’s defense, she reads an awful lot and (as the sixty-year-old chronicler knows) this does tend to show.
I haven’t written two stories at the same time before—at least not as intensively as I’ve been doing with SHADOWS and KES the last five months. And there are some disconcerting parallels. They’re both told in first person. They’re both alt-modern-America. Each heroine has a crucial dog. There’s a gigantic truck-like vehicle also crucial to the story in both. I don’t (fortunately) feel this is the Story Council getting bored with my limitations. As I’ve said in one form or another many times, the story is the story, but to get itself down on paper* it can only use the tools it has available. Writer as toolbox. I know enough critters that I might be able to wing it about a critter I don’t know** but a story trying to find the means in McKinley to bolt together a serial murderer with a Portmeirion pottery fetish, an alcoholic ex-policeman who collects Altair 8800s and a runaway schizophrenic heiress with a suitcase full of gelignite would have a nervous breakdown.*** I could also comment that both Maggie and Kes think they’re totally boring and ordinary but that’s just part of the checklist for a McKinley heroine and not really worth picking out. Like that Maggie could grow up to be a lot like Kes. Kes might even grow old to be a lot like me. Except that she’ll have had the leaping-tall-buildings-at-a-single-bound experience at some point. Sigh.
A mechanical gremlin that plays with a bowl of nuts and bolts and odd bits. I love Serena’s workshop more and more.
Can I just move into this story and have done with it?
Cath, you’d have to move back to the States to live in Kes’ world. With real winters.
I would venture to guess that I am not the only one who wishes she were living Kes’ life, stress and all right now. Or at least that New Iceland was a place I could go live in? And eat at that magical everything-is-amazing diner? And move into Rose Manor? I’m sure things would look different to Kes from her point of view, but living her life right now sounds just about perfect.
Yes. Queue forms to the left.† It does amuse me that so many of you are wallowing, er, appreciating the Kes-as-wish-fulfillment aspect too. As far as I’m concerned it’s all about me.†† And even though I’m plugging in what-would-McKinley-do at any crossroad when the answer isn’t obvious, The Story Is Still the Story and mostly it has its own ideas, and the real winters are one of the things that comfort me about this life experienced, as it is, in southern England. Even if all my frelling hobbies seem to be things I’m frelling pathetic at.†† Not being quite ordinary and boring is all very well but I hope Kes doesn’t turn out to be too good at too many things.
How funny that Serena suggested Kes work in the bookstore.
I’ll be surprised if Kes doesn’t get entangled in the haunted bookstore somehow. NO I DON’T KNOW EITHER. But we’ll all find out. Eventually.
I absolutely want Flowerhair to come visit Rose Manor. Cantering up the driveway, possibly a slash or two at the vagrant undergrowth, and then looking up at the house and musing if there is a spare bedroom.
(There’s another spare room for Aldetruda too, isn’t there??)
Totally. And there’s at least one more loose MacFarquhar heroine. We may have to get a bit creative about accommodations for the horse(s).
I don’t know that Kes is going to meet Flowerhair, exactly, but the borderlines between Kes’ reality and Kes’ fiction have already started to blur seriously. You just haven’t read those eps yet. Mwa hahahahahaha.
I think maybe, without even having read them, I would be more a fan of Flowerhair than Aldetruda, but I could be wrong. But am a serious, thoroughly addicted fan of Kes and Serena and Gus and Rose Manor and the whole thing. WANT MORE.
I think Aldetruda at the moment suffers mostly from insufficient exposure. Although Flowerhair is high and Aldetruda is urban, so it does somewhat derive from your preferences in fantasy. But KES is urban . . . and before SUNSHINE I had never much liked urban myself.‡
Have become a tiny bit confused . . . about why Kes would need to be taken back to the motel, instead of home to Rose Manor…did the truck break down? Did I miss something?
She hasn’t moved yet. Your perception of the passage of time when you’re only getting KES in 800-word snippets, and her writer-down has a serious problem with wandering off the topic, is warped. This is only her second night in New Iceland. It’s still only today that she saw Rose Manor for the first time. She’s moving tomorrow.
katinseattle wrote: Now I need to learn to read slower. **sigh**
Or you can just start at the beginning and read them all again. I found I’d missed lots of small clues along the way.
Yes, well, be careful about thinking those are clues. I mostly don’t have the faintest, a story can be the most awful tease—and I’m only about ten eps ahead of you. And this blog serial thing is a little outside the Story Council’s bailiwick too, at least the department I’m accustomed to dealing with.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an ep to finish writing, and then I am going to try to go to bed early because if the weather doesn’t turn too diabolical I may have a puppeeeeeeee visit tomorrow.‡‡
* * *
* Or facsimile. I’m so tired of the terrible job of translating the medium that has been done on so many ebooks I’ve kind of gone off them for the moment. I’ll still read them if e is the only medium is available, and they are useful when I’m STUCK SOMEWHERE and the only hard copy I have with me is the wrong thing.^ But knitting increasingly is the distraction of choice when it’s a dumb wait and I don’t know how long I’m going to be hung up. I suppose it’s possible that some day I will have the willpower and the brain^^ to tackle a proper pattern with lace/cables/colourwork/intarsia/goblins, but in the meanwhile my blood pressure is very very very grateful for basic idiot stockinette and gentle little ribbing.
^ The total brilliance of ebooks, as all of you know, whether you’ve succumbed to an ereader or not, is that you can have an entire LIBRARY to choose from on your Astarte equivalent. I assume I’m not the only person who has had lifelong trouble deciding what exactly she’s going to want to be reading when in an airplane for ninety-six hours or whatever. I take this slightly to extremes however. What am I going to want to be reading standing in the check out queue at Sainsbury’s? Depends on the queue. Depends on whether they had organic broccoli. Depends on whether I think I remembered accurately what didn’t get on my list. Depends on if I saw a knitting magazine that appealed to me—and no, that doesn’t immediately answer the question. I prefer reading my knitting magazines at home sitting next to the Aga which is keeping my cup of tea hot. But having one in the basket while I’m waiting to pay and get out certainly has an effect on my mood.
^^ . . . doubtful.
** And of course have. I don’t count pegasi or the Makepeace dragon sanctuary dragons as critters, but if there’s anyone out there who wants to challenge me on the subject of, say, foogits, it’s pistols at dawn, honeybun.
*** So would I, of course.
† Hope you brought lots of reading material. And knitting.
†† Although I never dated a Greek, let alone married him. Nor have I ever found the ancient aphorism ‘it’s as easy to fall in love with a wealthy man as it is a poor one’ particularly true. Although Gelasio wasn’t wealthy when he and Kes first got together. And the thing about a lifestyle you can’t support is the shock when it ends. There are going to be nights at Rose Manor when Kes really misses the Veuve Cliquot—and the account at the high-end wine shop on the corner of Broadway and Umpty Mumble.
††† Frelling service ring at the frelling abbey tomorrow. Frelling. And Niall and I have a new handbell recruit AND SHE’S PICKING IT UP MUCH TOO FAST. And let’s not even discuss my singing, after several months Nadia-free.
‡ Buffy, yes. And INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE. But they were aberrations.
‡‡ I AM SO NOT READY FOR THE NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. SO. NOT. READY.^
^ Olivia, you’re not reading this, right?
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