Revision Xibalba II

So here are a few of the details that I’ll be tackling this week in the Maya story. 

  1. Opening scene:  clarify the whole “video taping” element.  Smooth the dialogue so it’s not quite so stilted.  Goal:  eliminate reader confusion about what’s happening.  DONE last night.
  2. Opening scenes with Jaid and Geoffrey:  remove the office break-in element entirely.  Remove the missing Chilam Balam book entirely.  Build tension between how she “ought” to feel and reality.  Goal: make Jaid a bit more sympathetic.  DONE last night.
  3. Set up the home break-in element completely differently.  No obvious break-in when she and Geoffrey arrive.  Goal: make Jaid less callous and remove any chance at all for TSTL comments for going into a house unarmed that has obviously been burglarized.  DONE last night.
  4. Move the video viewing element from late 1/3 book up to this point.  Jaid will see her father disappear, see the hints of magic.  Goal:  better explain why she goes to Guatemala, buy in, motivation, etc.  IN PROGRESS.
  5. Quinn’s first scene:  clean up FBI procedure a bit.  Goal: remove doubts to Quinn’s competency.  DONE last night.
  6. Use setting to play off Jaid’s memory of the accident.  Goal:  add subtle tension.
  7. Increase tension in dialogue between Jaid and Reyes.  She knows, but doesn’t believe; he believes, but needs to keep everything secret.  Goal:  racket up that “info-dump” scene with subtext tension.
  8. Reyes:  WHY does he believe?  Goal: specific details in his past to anchor his motivations.
  9. Jaid and Sam: build torn emotions, conflicting emotions.  Goal: racket emotional tension.
  10. Revise the scene with Madelyn to remove the missing Chilam Balam thread.  Play off substitute mother threats/Cinderella aspect instead.  Goal: continuity and tension.
  11. Increase technology in Venus Star, longer descriptive passages.  Goal: ground the reader better and bring tech to near future.
  12. Remove the video scene with Jaid and Ruin — smooth corresponding hole.  Goal: continuity.
  13. Read as a “thriller” instead of “contemporary fantasy” and evaluate tension.  Goal: racket up tension at every point, whether emotional or external stakes.

Deadline:  by next Monday so I can return to queries.  That means I also need to revise the synopsis and eyeball the query again.

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