So here are a few of the details that I’ll be tackling this week in the Maya story.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Quinn’s first scene: clean up FBI procedure a bit. Goal: remove doubts to Quinn’s competency. DONE last night.
- Use setting to play off Jaid’s memory of the accident. Goal: add subtle tension.
- 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.
- Reyes: WHY does he believe? Goal: specific details in his past to anchor his motivations.
- Jaid and Sam: build torn emotions, conflicting emotions. Goal: racket emotional tension.
- Revise the scene with Madelyn to remove the missing Chilam Balam thread. Play off substitute mother threats/Cinderella aspect instead. Goal: continuity and tension.
- Increase technology in Venus Star, longer descriptive passages. Goal: ground the reader better and bring tech to near future.
- Remove the video scene with Jaid and Ruin — smooth corresponding hole. Goal: continuity.
- 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.