Thursday, December 16, 2010

Small Potatoes

So, I have now had one person read through the entire book. It's the aforementioned RR and she had some amusing theories about Alex being undead, Julie being an enemy and such. And some very good suggestions.

With respect, there's one thing that I very much disagree with her on. She loved Alex as a villain and favorably compared him to Dolores Umbridge. If you know me in real life or at least am familiar with my Palpatine and Voldemort fetishes, you know a little bit about why that makes me cock my head to the side and grimace a little.

If you're not so familiar with that, I am a villain junkie. It's sometimes exasperating to my friends who like the nice boys. But give me Voldemort, Palpatine, Vader, Bellatrix Lestrange, etc. any day. They are so wonderfully complex. I aspire to have someone like that in my books.

So, where does Alex stand as a villain, really? I find it hard to believe that a lying boyfriend is comparable to the sociopathic cotton candy demon from the Ministry of Magic. Not that I'm unflattered by the comparison, but Alex is intentionally small potatoes. Yes, he breaks the main character's heart and later on in the book, he does something much more villainous than that, but while this is the generation of Gossip Girl, this is also the generation of Harry Potter and Twilight. The books that I am going to be writing about these characters will have relationship issues included in them, but pinning the ex as a great villain would be sort of like saying that Cho Chang outranks Voldemort because she dumped Harry in book 5. It just doesn't make as much sense.

Like I said, he's intentionally small potatoes. I'm reminded of a Buffy episode in which Angel has just announced that he's leaving town after graduation. Buffy and Willow are talking about this major development and the thing that makes Buffy cry is not that heartache of being abandoned, but the fact that she's a girl who's just trying not to die. It also reminds me of a scene in Harry Potter 7, where "good old JK" comments that Harry, Ron and Hermione are feeling like three teenagers whose only accomplishment is that they haven't yet been killed.

So, I'm glad that the main relationship struck a chord. I wanted people to feel strongly about Alex and Ella and their relationship. I just want to warn my friend that there are much bigger fish to fry!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


So, remember in my acknowledgments where I mentioned RR? The one who was my publicist pretty much? Well, she's been reading my book all the way through and giving me a little feedback. Tips on pacing, comments on dialogue, etc.

Well, the most fun I've had in months has been another thing that she's doing. She'll message me on Facebook with theories. It's incredibly helpful to see that someone as intelligent as her is still finding mystery in the whole thing. When I wasn't very far into writing, I asked H. of the cute kids and Philadelphia trip to make sure I wasn't giving too much away, but that was over the course of 17 pages of excerpts.

I cannot wait to see what she (RR) thinks of how the rest of the story because last night, I got a message from her with another theory and she's finally on to something! Though what I love is how I have never thought of how certain things could have played out. It's like Trey Stokes when he said that he never thought whether Han and Stacey (in Pink 5) went all the way until people started asking about it. She pointed out something in the prologue that strongly suggests one insidious thing that I didn't actually mean to be insidious and would make a lot of sense if her theory were correct!

In other news, I broke down and, for fun, wrote the first scene of book 2: placeholder-named Turncoat. I'm really lousy at titles. But I wrote the introduction to my incredibly fantastic future character Carp Milligan. In my head, the second book was going to originally start with the words "I awoke on my first morning in New York to find that a fish had moved in overnight." But no, this is Ella's Columbia freshman-year roommate, Carpathia Seward Milligan. First time I've had a name pre-date a character by a whole book. And when I got done with that scene, I sat back and realized that she is written to strongly resemble H.'s cousin who was, incidentally, a college roommate of mine.