I think…

I think the only thing wrong with COYOTE DREAMS is that is not…clear enough. I know what I’m trying to do, and I know what legends I’m drawing on, but I don’t think quite enough of that made it onto the page. I’ve got about a hundred pages left to go through at this point, and I’m pretty sure I still need to write one more chapter between the current penultimate chapter and the final one. I suspect, if I can figure out how to do it, that’ll take care of a lot of the confusion. I think the rest is just deepening details.

The whole thing reminds me a little of asking me, a while ago, why it was that I used a lot of very specific Celtic mythology in URBAN SHAMAN, but then went so generically Native American/New Agey in THUNDERBIRD FALLS. That bothered me for weeks, until I came across my research notes for THUNDERBIRD. By that time I could no longer remember, without the notes, that I hadn’t always known the stuff I’d used for the story background in TF. I did every bit as much research and based the main plot thread in THUNDERBIRD on actual specific stories and characters as I did with SHAMAN (and then went hog wild stretching mythologies to fit my own story, just like I did with US). It’s just that he was generically familiar, I think, with the thunderbird and other elements used in the book, but didn’t know the specific stories I was riffing off, whereas he was more familiar with the Celtic mythology I borrowed from and could recognize very clearly where I’d taken things from. I’m finding my editor having a similar problem in COYOTE: I’ve got some really specific stuff based on really specific Navajo characters and events, and she’s trying to make them tie to a part of the story they don’t tie to, because I haven’t backed them up sufficiently so they stand on their own. Obviously, I thought I had, so taking care of that should help strengthen the story a fair bit.

It’s a little tricksy to do from a first person POV, when my POV character also doesn’t recognize the story elements, and it’s actively *hard* to do when I’ve done enough research that I forget what I’m writing isn’t common knowledge. I may have to give Jo a little more information earlier on to make it work.

I need to do something about dinner, and then finish reading this book. I think the real editing will happen tomorrow and Sunday (and if I’m very lucky it’ll be *done* Sunday). I donno. I like it. The book, I mean. That’s quite wonderful, given that the last 3 books I’ve worked on I’ve had whirly eyes about and have fallen asleep doing edits. I’ve been too close to them–HEART OF STONE I’ve just read Too. Many. Times and revised Too. Much, and HOUSE OF CARDS came too close on the heels of HoS to have room to have a feeling for it. And I’ve read TQB a *lot* while I’ve been writing it, so trying to edit it is exhausting. (I have 2 weeks off from it, basically, before I have to spend 3 very intense days working on edits, and oh *lord* how I hope that’ll be enough time to divorce myself from it to some degree.) But I haven’t looked at COYOTE since the end of February, and 6 months is enough time away from to be glad to get back to Jo and Gary and Morrison. :)

5 thoughts on “I think…

  1. Regarding your research: in TF, I did earmark a few pages and go back through and look up names of characters (gods and whatnot) to find out a little bit more about ’em. I really enjoyed how you integrated them into the story–it felt like a DVD easter egg or somesuch, almost. :)

  2. I’ve really enjoyed the dynamic between Jo and Morrison. I’ve liked watching it evolve via Jo’s perspective as well. And who wouldn’t love Gary? You could just eat him up with a spoon!

  3. *beam* I do love Gary. I’m so glad everybody else does too. I think there’s some nice stuff with him coming up in COYOTE that you’ll really like. :)

  4. Hey there. It was more the “generic” new agey stuff, really. I eat up both the Celtic and the traditional Native mythology.

    I also have to admit that part of my questioning is based on personal experience with the new age/pagan crowd, because to many people it wouldn’t seem in any way “generic.”

    Looking forward to CD!

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