labingi: (Ghanior)
[personal profile] labingi
Perdita is away to the barber's--er, proofreader's--at last. I should say, Help the Gods is, as this is the edition I hope to release under that rather more interesting title.

Oh, Perdita, Perdita, I really don't know what I'm looking at when I look at you. My best analysis (21 years after I started writing and 11 after I "finished" the first edition) is that it has good parts and bad parts. In my most recent wordiness edit, there were moments it moved me to tears and moments that were just dull and a bit embarrassing. And there were some moments that were a bit embarrassing in a not-necessarily-bad-way, such as some slightly purplish romance. I wouldn't write that way today, but there's a reason it appeals, especially to young audiences, and Perdita is fundamentally a young person's book.

Here's my best assessment of the current version:

The Bad:
* Not very good prose. It's not as embarrassingly amateurish as the original, but it's very flat and rarely rises above functional.

* Those dang couple of plot points (no spoilers) that are just hard to justify in terms of character motivation.

* Some really dull bits, mostly surrounding Karmeena learning to mind read and the long, boring meeting--and, alas, as ever, chapter 1.

* Poor Laynia being stereotyped as seductress. I tried to make this interesting, but it still reads as stereotyped.

* My mom says the ending lacks resolution. I don't know. I think it's okay, but it is a "gray" ending.

The Good:
* Ethan and Sherayna, singly and together (overall: some bit read a bit "high school")

* Part 3--it's the part that seems most cohesive and moving.

* Leric. I still love him. He's one of those characters who is nothing like me yet whom I know well enough to just jump in and write. And Leric and Sherayna trying to work out their issues via playing First Causes is still a scene I love.

* The general theme, which one early reader summed up as "fanaticism." I think it makes its point.

(Ghanior--my icon--is not yet born at the time of this story, but I do think Ethan is one of his personal heroes.)


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