Well, this will need some work…

I really got into Unexpected last night, and I’m now about a third of the way into the manuscript.  There are three things that have really struck me as I’ve been reading.

1. I like the story.

2. I love Kiwi, the swearing fairy, and I don’t know if I can censor her.

3. This manuscript is rough, and it’s going to need some major work.

The fact that I like the story is good, and it follows with my experience with my other novels.  The advice to “write the book you want to read” is clearly something that I’ve managed to do again.  It also means that I’ll be more invested in working on revisions, since I like the story.  If it wasn’t fun, I probably wouldn’t do much with it.

I’m still torn on censoring Kiwi, but the decision doesn’t have to be made today.  The reality is that part of what makes her such an entertaining character is her ridiculous, relentless attitude.  Without her frequent use of foul language, her caustic, disdainful persona would be weakened.  Shock value is part of her nature; substituting milder words waters it down, and creating “fairy curse words” blunts the reader’s initial response.  But offending readers on page one is not really my intention, either.  Good thing I can wait to make the choice.

As for the third observation, well, it is a NaNo novel.  It was written rapidly, with no revisions, and as I’m reading it I can tell.  There are silly word substitutions, like mission for missing, and while the grammar is acceptable, there are some odd sentence structures I’d like to address.  But the biggest thing is the skeletal form.  Right now there is a lot of dialog and action, but not a lot of description, which is very typical for my first drafts.  I’m noticing many places where scenes can be beefed up, interactions can be more detailed, and the story can just be layered a bit more.  These are all things that are easy enough to do once I settle down to revise.

I will continue to read Unexpected, simply for the sake of reading it.  I might cringe every now and then at the places that need work, but at least I have Kiwi to amuse and distract me. 🙂

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