Monday, January 3, 2011


Somebody said something to the effect that novels aren't ever finished. They're eventually shipped off to publishers, but the writer is never finished fiddling with them until the last possible second, and sometimes not even then.

I spent the last couple of days tweaking "Gladys," which I thought I was finished with six months ago. "The Wreck of the Gladys B. is a young adult novel, an adventure of a girl in 1718 who runs away to sea to find her father and rescue him from pirates who've captured him.

It hasn't sold yet (more on that another time, when I feel like whining) and Tori and I were talking about it the other day – Thursday, to be precise – and she convinced me I needed to raise the ante a little more. Not a lot, I'm not rewriting the whole thing. Just added bits here and there to the opening three chapters to make the situation more dire.

This is in accord with the "hero journey" outline, which requires the novice hero to resist the call and finally be forced to leave.

Tori was right, as always. Rereading it, I saw what it needed right away. It was a fairly easy fix. But it was the kind of work where you can't do a word count, so I don't have one. What I have is a better story.

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