October 18th, 2007


progress report

I made some notes on chapter 20 while I was at lunch. And did a load of laundry!


In choir, we're running large sections of the Brahms Requiem, and we finally worked on movement two last night ("Denn alles Fleisch ist wie Gras / und alle Herrlichkeit des Menschen / wie des Grases Blumen. / Das Gras ist verdorret / und die Blume abgefallen etc.). It's fun for the alti, who are the only ones who get to rapidly switch mental melodic tracks between the matter-of-fact, marchlike opening about how everything goes to dirt eventually, and the part with "be patient for the coming of the Lord." (I found a link to free download.)

I also love the end section of that movement. Freude! Freude! Ewige Freude! Rah!


painful but useful

Today I got an email about an online system which my publisher maintains, which allows the author to provide information on their book to the art and marketing departments. There's also a section to provide a bio for online retailers.

The bio was easy; I just took the one I'd already sent my editor and shortened it to the required 500 characters or less.

For the rest, I had to give descriptions of the characters. That wasn't so bad. I was even able to quote myself on one of them. There was a questionnaire, asking about themes and turning points in the plot, and interesting visual elements. I already knew all those things.

I especially liked the question about how you would describe the book to your friends. I wrote: "This book is about reveling in genre tropes, especially using classic elements of historical romance in new ways...It's meant to be fun and fantastical...."

The hard part was the synopsis. As many of you might remember from my previous [unsold] novel, I not only hate doing synopses, but am terrible at them. This time it was a little easier, since I wasn't afraid of leaving out plot elements. Also, the plot is simpler. The hard part was when my editor asked for it to be a longer than my initial three sentences. I got very involved, deciding what was really important and what wasn't; also, in articulating some things about the last two chapters, which aren't yet written and are still forming in my head. I went back and forth a lot, editing, putting things in and taking them out. I'm still not sure how I'm going to do the epilogue-like ending in the actual novel, but it has to be there, or the [subtle? I hope?] commentary on romance novels will collapse. So I think the exercise was useful for those chapters, and for my ongoing edits as well.

I also realized that in trying to make the Duchess unlike other erotica heroines, who always seem to need a Mysterious Other male to help them reach fulfillment, I failed. Because she does need the stableboy to help her reach fulfillment. True, he's not a Mysterious Other, but he still has something she lacks. Then again, what would be the point of a relationship if neither partner possessed something the other needed but lacked? Maybe it's just Mysterious Other males who bother me, especially when they're patronizing. I think it's okay to be a little patronizing if you're a Duchess, though...[ponders] [head gets hot] [decides to stop worrying about feminist implication in order to finish novel so others can worry about feminist implications of novel].

After I saved it all and emailed back that I was finished, then it turned out my editor wasn't expecting such an instant turnaround. Oh, well. Done is good.