Re: WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon
Oh, and following up on a comment about her type of hero: any Marvel superhero you might mention. lol
Close friends → WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon
Oh, and following up on a comment about her type of hero: any Marvel superhero you might mention. lol
"Exile" makes me think of "banishment" or even "self-banishment"
Sword of Rhiannon makes me expect a story about a sword. Meanwhile the sword is a small fraction of the story (if we shall measure the story by % of paragraphs for which the weapon is a thematic agent and not merely a tool to accomplish some greater element). Then again, I recall reading Sword of Shannara or some such and there was barely even a sword in it and they spent the entire book looking for it.
I think the nude was the best epithet you have among available options.
Maybe you'll surprise me with a better one before you sign off on the galleys
First thoughts are somes the best, Kdot. Rhiannon the Nude does have the dual advantages of focussing on the main theme of the book: the character and her main problem. And it gets the reader's interest. Maybe "Naked Came the Fairy princess?"
How about: "Nudity Becomes Rhiannon"? You know, like "Mourning Becomes Electra."
Well, so far, two potential publishers like "Out of Exile," so I'm leaning toward that, at least for Part I, which looks to be a book in its own right. But for now, "The Sword of..." Sure beats ""Untitled." lol
I'm reorganizing The Sword of Rhiannon. It now ends at chapter 43, with chapter 44 (v. 2), the epilogue, so one ongoing mystery (who is the hooded figure and what does "Beware the Duck" mean) will be partially resolved. (With a hook to the next Part, which sees the full resolution. In Part II, amystery will be emphasized. Now, the emphasis is on Rhiannon's running the kingdom--she deals with prisoners of war, her coronation, and her upcoming marriage. As you can see from the prologue to it, there is trouble ahead. But right now, it reads too much like "A Busman's Honeymoon," which had twenty pages of mystery and 350 of lifestyle. If you do decide to wade into this swamp, please let me know if that bothers you. It will be helpful in the re-write. Another note here. There is the Saga, as I call it. Goes from Book I (the prequel), which goes from Rhiannon's betrothal to the human king Ferrell, to her escape into the forest, to Book II, which goes from where Book I left off to the end of the war. Now, there will be Book III, which starts right after the war, but centers on the mystery of who killed Rhiannon's mother, briefly mentioned in Book II, against the backdrop of the coronation, the marriage, the return of the offworlders. Book IV is more a mystery story, as Modrin's murder remains unsolved by the end of Book III, although, it looks like it's solved. Book V is a mystery that can be read independently of the Saga, as it isn't mentioned when it takes place, although it still might spoil Book IV for you. Never fear, it won't be posted for a long while.
The reason for this reorganization is that a publisher asked me for a synopsis and the first three chapters, but was firm that my book couldn't be more than 120,000 words long. (With Part II, it is over twice that.) They said, "Well, if there's a natural break, just send us the book up to the break." Wish me luck on this, but, as so often happens, publishers are right. These days, a 1,000 word epic doesn't sell. George R.R. Martin may have experienced the same thing, as all his volumes are really parts of a larger book.
OK, given the interest in my Rhiannon series, and given how well "Out of Exile" tested, I'm redubbing it "The Exile Series," and retitling the books accordingly. "The Loves of Rhiannon: Vol. 1 of the Exile Series; "Out of Exile (nee The Sword of Rhiannon) Vol. 2 of the Exile series, and the reorganized third book, "Exile's End," Vol 3 of the Exile series. This is Part iI of The Sword of Rhiannon, with a different beginning, and additional sections to give it a tighter plot structure. A lot of the subplots from before are now distractors, but give a sense of her life, which was their original purpose, there are now three red herrings, and I'm hoping to pull a Sue Grafton, although I won't say in what sense, as that will undermine the project. Enjoy the new format.
I don't think the last one should be called "Exile's End" but "Back Home". If an exile has ended, it means you're back home, doesn't it?
Could be right, Gacela. I was thinking of some continuity, sort of like "Death" in the J.D. Robb series: You know, "Naked in Death," "Famous in Death," "Do Wah Diddy in Death." Back Home? I don't know if that has the punch that "Exile," "Out of Exile" have.
Well, I'm perfectly confused. No big surprise. I'm kinda in the same boat, Rachel. I think. I've got epic tons of material, in the form of connected vignettes, but I haven't figured out how to interlock it all in order yet. I've no gift for plotting. For some reason I've got a problem writing chronologically, you see. The whole David Copperfield thing? I find it boring. But than again, it's asking a lot of the reader to follow along when I'm jumping around so much. That's the rub.
You rubbed me the right way with the first book I read. Which is why I'm so devoted to you as an author, Rachel. But I'm not sure if the first book I read is the first book I shoulda read. Or the first story you shoulda told. If that makes any sense. I gotta be honest and tell you that THE SWORD OF RHIANNON has been wearing me down a bit. I hate that I keep referencing GOT, but... What was so effective about GRRM's approach to a sprawling epic (and YOUR approach in the first book) is that he alternated POV's and was thusly able to spread the exposition/backstory rather seamlessly. There's no such thing as a perfect narrative, of course, but... Well, now my brain hurts just thinking about it. Writing a novel is hard. Hard as fuckall.
Congratulations on garnering the interest of a publisher, though. Let's face it. It's their JOB to steer you straighter than I ever could.
Well, one thing about Book IV, which takes place right after Book III (nee the second half of Book II), is that it is written from various POV's, although mainly Barbara Carruthers, of all people. She and Heather (young and old) are the main POV's. The narrator is a Dorothy Sawyers style one, I'll call her Rachel. The first book might be the first book, although I've sent the first three chapters of the second book off. The first narrator of any of these stories was Rhiannon, I did so to associate the reader in, make her feel engaged, and it seems to do that. What is interesting from my experience at tNBW is that you can also do that in 3rd person, although not as easily. 3rd person does allow the various POV's. I just noticed how effective that is in the section I just finished. The reader knows who the black, hooded figures are, as she sees them plotting, and know that Heather is not in any real danger from them, but it was still startling and scary (I thought so, at least) when they abruptly burst in on her when she is exhausted and helpless after a tantrum.
I'm also probably going to take out more chatpers from Book II, as one that shows Rhiannon at her heroic best also doesn't advance the plot one bit.
And yes, if I get a publisher and they like it but want it written from various points of view, I will change it. Otherwise, I'm the first reader to please, even though I'm glad you and everyone else are around for the ride.
Indeed. You gotta write for yourself first and foremost. It's gotta make sense to you before it can begin to make sense to me and others. I think of children. Not because I'm a weirdo, not because I'm writing anything close to children's lit, but because I would like to simultaneously tax and entertain and MAKE SENSE to the child-like mind. Because children are forced to read and therefore wax their imaginations before giving it all up in order to make money and star in commercials. Rhiannon the Nude, being nude and accursed, is a taxing concept. With all sorts of wonderful philosophical implications. Resist the tendency to go sexual with that concept right away, Rachel. That's my advice. Because I think there's so much religious/social/economical/political material there to plumb. And, of course, some hot body-slapping action. From time to time and within reason.
Well, as Norm observed, one of the master keys of my writing is friendship under the most exotic of circumstances. Another key is personal development. We first meet Rhiannon as a superficial girl who wants to fit in with her new friends at court, is interested in fashion, and has a girl's crush on a middle age, exotic, alien marine By the end of Book II she is risking the space-time continuum to protect her country, barking orders. As Gacela observed, she has adult conversations. Book III has her taking command of her life and her kingdom. Book IV, in the second draft, she hasn't really appeared yet--it more showcases Heather and her friends. And the backdrop: a technologically advanced society is exploiting a less advanced one, rationalizing it by thinking they are uplifting it (really making them depended on foreign technology). But the advanced society has destroyed its environment and is merrily doing the same to the new planet. A woman who comes from a more natural society, with magic, not technology, as the means for survival falls for a man from the techno-society. Talk about star-crossed lovers. There is economics involved as well--the Terran exploitation is a blend of neocolonialism and the Great Leap Forward. There's culture clash. The sex in both Book I and Book II is way into the developing plot and is more diversionary than anything else. Not to say it isn't a significant point. And Rhiannon herself is a mixture of 'Everywoman' and Wonder Woman. Glad to have you join the party, John. And that goes for all the close friends here.
OK, folks. I have a dilemma. I've sent Book II off to a publisher; rather than wait for the yea or nay, increasingly aware of all the flaws, scenes I would have done better, sentence reorganization needed, etc., I wrote Book IV. (That was last week's project; don't know what will happen this week. lol). Book IV is a murder mystery, and I think a rather good one. I'd like to get your comments, but if I do, it will spoil the ending of Book III. Before you reply, 'that sucks,' Book III has the following in common with Dorothy Sayer's "Busman's Honeymoon," in that it is full of description and the relationships, and the part of the ending that overlaps with Book IV, although providing the organization of the book, is a relatively secondary part. Book IV fairly well ends the tetralogy, but not the Rhiannon saga. Norm is right, the motive force of the stories is friendship in the most exotic of circumstances. The characters are what is going to motivate the reader to move on to the next. There will be more Rhiannon stories. But the saga that began with her being sent to New Dyved to marry King Ferrell and ends with (now, *that* would definitely be telling) is over in Book IV. Book I through IV is actually one long (1600 pages) novel split into four parts. So what do you think? Should I post it and get your feedback, or just edit it myself for a while, until most of you have gotten to the end of Book III? I suppose I can always send it to Fiery Seas; things often happen backwards for me. If everyone else sends a polished manuscript to Fiery Seas and gets a rejection in nine minutes, I could send a rough manuscript and get acceptance. And heck, I've had nine-minute encounters that have been extremely pleasant. I await what you suggest.
Okay, I mentioned in my review, Rosalyn duo love relationship is muffled. My suggestion is to have Rosalyn be the male in the relationship and Heather the female in relationship. You need separation. Rhiannon needs both loves for different reasons. And I suggest never have sex as a threesome. Each one has intimate private relationship with Rhiannon. And you need some explicit moments with Rosalyn alone with Rhiannon. Rosalyn can be the cautious one, who talks bout strategedy and stability for the Kingdom, and Heather can be the fun one who Rosalyn eventually gets alarmed about because of Heather's secret agenda.
As my writing is ongoing, I continue my research. I found out, interestingly enough, there are people who actually have Rhiannon's handicap. They aren't cursed by a witch, but they have an irrational fear of clothing; some can't wear clothes at all. It is thought this may be brought on by extreme allergic reactions to common textiles, or by their parents dressing them in ways that made them objects of ridicule by kids. There was a forum on phobias where one woman wrote in about her lifestyle adjustments; she was ridiculed in the forum as a man getting some fetishistic joy about pretending to be a vestiphobe. Whether this is true or not, it did plausibly show how one might lead one's life, given this phobia: homeschooling, online college, and I presume, as she ages, online jobs. (I wonder how in the olden days, someone might make the adjustments. They'd have to have a supportive family, go to nudist colonies, and probably end up in a job that requires nudity. Oh, there is a union of sorts for professional naked people--models, exotic dancers, etc--so that is possible. Just thought I'd pass on this interesting phenomenon. Rhiannon's nakedness was symbolic of handicaps and overcoming them--we are all powerless against nature and others and are thus handicapped. In the fourth story, the depth structure centers on a character who has amazing powers and abilities (far beyond those of mortal woman), and, due to her insecurities, lands up almost alienating the woman she loves and is facing possible permanent exile or beheading. The third book deals with culture clashes, as one kingdom is dominating a kingdom that used to dominate it. Anyway, thought I'd pass on these insights.
OMG, Rhiannon, I want to read all these books- no GD time!
I say post what you have- get the feedback you can. If slow-ass reviewers like moi don't get to the end, or have it ruined - tough for us. We (I) may have to just buy your books once they are for sale to find out what happens- especially if I don't get my act together!.
so much to do, so little time.
Thank you, CJ. I appreciate that. Oh, and thanks for being one of my first buyers. To add to your consternation, I'm finishing a rough draft of yet another book--taking place about thirty years in the future from these stories. Rhiannon's son, Pryderi, falls in love with a slave girl from New Prydain, and has a rather tempestuous honeymoon with her, as the Queen of New Prydain wants to re-enslave her, she liberates a whole colony of slaves, has to deal with a spell that makes him murderously jealous, free miners from Tommy Knockers. and rescue his sister (who was born in the short story I just posted) from the Land of the Men where men treat women as animals (based on the habit of men treating women like animals). She has to communicate with her husband by barking in Morse Code, so brush up on that, as some of the dialogue is in dots and dashes.
You wanna know what I would appreciate, Rachel? Something completely different. Something OUTSIDE of Rhiannon's realm. Just to see what you can tackle as a writer. As an exercise. Short story time...
I'm gonna give you a limited choice of protagonist --either a blue-collar forklift driver, a bourgie manicurist, or a teenaged ne'er do well -- who has just seen something he/she can't quite explain or come to grips with. Maybe he/she saw a ghost or a monster or maybe the mayor of a small town having raunchy sex with the mayor of the next town over, or... I dunno. Whatever.
And then go ahead and give me similar parameters to work/struggle with. Let's tax our imaginations and pump some literary iron. For Rhiannon/Bambini's sake. Know what I mean?
Or not. Life is short after all.
New novel launched. "The Strange Love Affair of Calista and Pryderi." If you think Rhiannon got into trouble, just wait until you see what happens to her son--even though it's the girl who's the real star of the story.
I'm pondering the "cavalry arriving in the nick of time" point (or the "Deus ex Littlefinger" as one reviewer of GOT called it when John Snow's forces were about to be creamed by Boulton, but the goblins aren't one; they are part of the forces amassed, although she wasn't aware of them. That will remain, as that's part of the comic quality of their arrival. Ioseff's and Zusanna's force don't arrive in the nick of time; it's more that Rhiannon arrives in the nick of time to join them. And that was part of Marlais' strategy. The only thing like that I can think of is Henry's arrival as the royalist forces are creamed in the delta, and again, there's a bit of a comic relief about it.
Re-read the chapters of interest after a bit of a gap to see if I still saw what I first saw. Here are my takeaways:
Elsbeth saves Rhiannon from having her head bashed in (She was pinned)
Rhia's men get surprise attacked but the birds swoop in to save her
Shortly after, Harpies join the fray (I'll consider them separate from the birds because they got their own entrance)
She tracks Seidel to his castle but gets surprise-attacked in the streets and gets bailed out by a pair of Wyrms
Yeomen show up to help
Red kites show up because she'd have no other way to track Seidel
Branwen shows up in a battleship just in time to bring catapults to bear
(House of Gwyrdall and the wolves show up to help now, but we can give these elements a pass because it was announced earlier that was the plan)
Trolls show up with banana peels once the enemy archers get too dangerous
[* Here's the can't-lose part - See notes below*]
The wyrms re-appear conveniently when needed against the juggernaut
The birds and Harpies are reactivated (I presume they were on stand-by)
An unexpected rebel attack had occurred in the Delta -> oh... Pirates showed up and dealt with that
So right about where the trolls appear, it's established by the story that no matter how bad it gets, some cavalry will appear and solve the problem. There is really no danger for her - I mean she even has Death on her side, so I'm thinking she can't really die.
This is all easy to fix eg...
a) Ensure the birds never leave the battle so that they don't appear at the perfect moments
b) Mention the Wyms & the wyrm camps and their comings and goings - again removing the nick-of-time effect
c) You don't get much bang for the buck by having the pirates show up - maybe have Rhiannon lose that city and has to go rescue it herself
d) Reduce the red kites to only the vrouaca - since they were already introduced to the story - one less divergent element
e) Basically I'd recommend the trolls be the only surprise cavalry in this secction
edit: Sorry, didn't mean to imply there was only the one fix. Another method is adjust the timing.
We learn of the attack on the Delta - then we learn of the rescue a few paragraph later. Perhaps separating these two events by a chapter or two will allow R (and the reader) to dwell on the attack longer before it's flipped over to a non-problem.
Kdot: All excellent suggestions and I might incorporate them. The manuscript is at a potential publisher, and got through a preliminary review--the committee loved the first three chapters, and there are friends of mine on it. If they reject it, or if they agree with you, I will definitely do that. Or if they wouldn't mind polishing, not suggested by their editor, I will do so. Otherwise, if the accept it, subject to their own revisions wanted, then they supercede yours. Otherwise, I will do them, as they would make for greater suspense.
OK, folks. I have a dilemma. I've sent Book II off to a publisher; rather than wait for the yea or nay, increasingly aware of all the flaws, scenes I would have done better, sentence reorganization needed, etc., I wrote Book IV. .
I'm still working my slow-ass way through Book II. Do you want me to move ahead to Book III instead?
CJ I appreciate all comments. Until I hear back from the publisher, I consider Book Ii a work in progress. I'll probably even do if it's suggestions before I hear back. Lol
Close friends → WIP Rhiannon the Nude, Vol 2: New Fairy by Rhiannon