Earldust: Interim Status Report

With my first year exams over, I finally have time to return to writing again, and thus we have an “interim status report” for Earldust. After quickly looking over the draft that I had edited last March, I became concerned that the gap between the characters that existed in my head, and those in the novel itself was widening. I panicked initially, afraid that I’d have to scrap entire chunks of the prose to fix the problem. However after a productive editing session today, I’m less concerned by this stark prospect.

In fact, most of the more “radical” changes could be made in conjunction with edits that I have anticipated already. Camillia’s character definitely needs to become much more assertive and responsible, Nathan needs to properly come to terms with his traumatic past, and Shane needs to grow up substantially before he can adopt the duties that fate (i.e. me) will confer on him.

The most challenging case here is Shane, who is easily the least developed character. Camillia and Nathan both have familiar traits that only need to be exaggerated slightly. The role adopted by Shane however does not lend itself to a strong personality (he is a bodyguard), and the only thing that is clear so far is that he is less mature than the other main characters. He is younger, and his past is substantially less interesting than that of the others. For him to justify his existence to the reader, and to me, he’ll need to undergo a strong transformation before the end of the book.

The precise method of doing this has yet to be chosen. Thankfully the ending of the book has yet to be fully rewritten, and therefore is not yet set in stone. Unlike the other characters, his personality will mostly be defined by where events take him, and the question is simply where and how. The current conclusion that I have chosen will have to be modified, but for expedience sake, I wish to keep these modifications as small as possible. Of course the temptation is to start out from a blank sheet, but that would mean another delay, and God knows there’s been enough of these so far.

If all goes according to the rather shaky plan I have at the moment, the book will be redrafted before the end of summer, and I’ll also have the first draft of a new ending completed. The plot and characters will be complete and coherent, and all that will be required is stylistic edits – the magnitude of which is yet to be determined. After that, God only knows what will happen. I have some ideas for another book, which I will share with you in my next writing related blog post.

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