I got "Blackfeather" back from my story editor and he ripped it apart. I mean he disemboweled it. Eviscerated.
Well, maybe not that bad. Actually the cure for what he pointed out to me is pretty easy. Too much backstory up front so the real action (time travel) doesn't start soon enough. Too easy on my characters. Lack of clarity. Other people solve their problems. All of those are easily fixable and I think I'll still be on target to start posting when LNDtH Part V finishes on March 23.
That's the real problem. "LNDtH2 Part VI: Starting Over." I'm eight chapters and almost 50,000 words into that story and my characters rebelled against me. You know how you can tell if a teen is rebelling? They either won't speak to you at all or they won't shut up. In this case, they were speaking to me about Parts VII, VIII, and IX. Complete plots and story lines, faster than what I could jot my notes down. Part VI? Not so much as a peep.
I took a 200 mile drive Tuesday and walked for three hours. All they'd talk about was what happened later in life and believe me some of that really got to me. As I posted on Facebook, "Some days it sucks to be God." Foreknowledge is a curse.
But I still didn't have word 50,001. Today I drove half an hour. I walked on a treadmill for an hour, just thinking about LNDtH2. I soaked in a hot tub for half an hour and drove half an hour back to my camp. bought coffee and water. About ten miles from home, Brian finally deigned to open his mouth and said, "What do you need us for? Our parents solved all our problems."
Damn it! Smart aleck teenager.
But he was right. Everything my editor told me about "Blackfeather" applies to LNDtH2. And the solution is simple. Start over.
Oh, a lot of what I wrote so far is good and will work its way into the next version, but in general, I've got to stop letting the parents solve the kids' problems for them. They have to do it the hard way.
You know what's really ironic? I had tentatively titled Part VI: "Starting Over."