Friday, 5 February 2010

third draft, this time with 100% more snarkiness

Lately I’ve needed some time away from my urban fantasy THE INFERNAL FAMILY, so I’ve been focusing on revisions to IRONBANE. I feel like I need more time to prepare for the second most dramatic change in my urban fantasy’s history: adding a new point of view character.

Currently the story is shaped by the fact that the only viewpoint character is a trigger-happy borderline psychopath whose preferred method of communication is violence. Most of the other characters don’t trust him, so he’s excluded from key plot developments. Plus he’s not human and that limits who he can interact with. So I’m planning to supplement his story with a truckload of new scenes from the viewpoint of his smarter, sneakier, snarkier human partner. This is going to be a metric ton of work, but I hope it will solve a lot of problems:
  • I always dreamed of having the protagonist’s partner infiltrate the bad guys using his evil devious mind. That wasn’t possible when the only viewpoint character was excluded. Now I can try that.
  • My bad guys will have some much-needed screen time. I can show more hunters with names and faces and motivations. I can suggest what they’re doing when they’re offscreen. I can make things a little more complicated. I’m also going to add a new antagonist.
  • A whole ton of plot I always imagined was happening offscreen never got onscreen due to viewpoint limitations. One late-stage revelation will no longer be at all surprising, but apparently it wasn’t surprising anyway -- one beta reader called it 40,000 words in advance!
  • I’m looking forward to showing that the protagonist is as mystifying to his partner as the partner is to the protagonist. Neither has a clue what the other is thinking.
  • The partner is clued-up in several key places where the protagonist is clueless. For example, the protagonist doesn't know the true story behind how everyone first met.
  • I also want the two viewpoint characters to interfere with each other. The partner is prone to carefully-laid plans. The protagonist is prone to sudden explosive violence. The two should not mix.
  • The second half of the novel is derailed by romance stuff. I’m hoping to add more plot.
  • The novel has always been short -- the beta version is under 70,000 words. I'd feel more comfortable around 90,000 words.
The reason I’m thinking about this right now when I should be working on IRONBANE? I finally figured out something going on behind the scenes that the protagonist doesn’t know about, and it’s awesome.

Still not ready to resume working on THE INFERNAL FAMILY, but I’m getting there.


  1. Fancy that, I'm adding new points of view to my novel as well. I'm glad you found something to make you more positive about The Infernal Family.

  2. Behold the wonderful world of the New Revamped Draft. Having added a whole new PoV for LIGHT as well, I can only recommend it, it shows so much more what is going on off-screen and gives you options to thicken the plot, I'm sure this next draft will be a lot of fun :)