Just one more thing …

I had a nice call with my editor today and we went over some options, brainstormed some ideas, and I realized pretty quickly it would help if she could see the bigger picture, if I could somehow share all the stories with her without having her read through 200k+ words (and charge me for that).

When we talked about the first book and her thoughts on the structure and flow, I could see she wasn’t coming at this from the same place I was, but I think that’s a very good thing. Seeing how someone who doesn’t know me, doesn’t know the stories, having this completely other perspective really helped me see where I could make changes and would need more work in the overall structure.

As the next step in this journey to publishing the Angels of Daria (working title) series, I am going to outline the stories I have finished plus the one(s) I’m working on. She and I both think this will help me figure out what’s most important in this series and make sure the first book sets up the universe correctly and allows readers to have a vague idea of what to expect.

As we were talking it through, there’s a possibility that the first book isn’t actually the first book, but maybe it really is. If it is, I need to make sure the reader walks away focused on the right characters and the right theme. Otherwise the second book might feel like it’s coming out of left field. If it’s not, then maybe what I am currently calling Book 3 is really Book 1, and we start at the beginning.

And maybe some other possibilities will come to light.

Meanwhile, I still have quite a bit of work to do to continue on this journey of mine. Starting with figuring out what “themes” are. Thankfully, I have supportive friends who can help point those out for me because I just stare at the words and don’t know how to pull out whatever this vague concept of “theme” is. I understand that about as well as I understand “sin”, which is, frankly, not at all.

Actually, I do understand themes. I just have a hard time identifying them in words. I have a hard time with words in general. Probably not a good thing for a writer to admit.

One of my favorite movies of all time has always been Der Himmel über Berlin. My editor mentioned something about City of Angels on our call. I cringed. Probably physically, as well as mentally, emotionally, everythingly. Cringed.

City of Angels is a horrid, abismal movie that gives me shudders. Der Himmel über Berlin … it’s so much more than a love story. So much more than a post-war drama. So much more than a bunch of Hollywood tropes. It’s complex, with subplots and, yes, I’ll say it, THEMES. Plus it’s in a completely different setting with completely different characters (even the angels’ characterizations in CoA are so different than in DHuB that I firmly believe this statement to be true).

But the point here is that, subconsciously, I may have taken some inspiration from Der Himmel über Berlin. And I am 100% okay with that. You should go watch it. Seriously. Wings of Desire is the American name. I’m pretty sure it’s the same movie, just with dubbing or subtitles maybe? I don’t know. But I think I’m going to rewatch the German/French/American version myself. I think I need to.

Just one more thing …

Peter Falk is in it, and I adore Peter Falk.

3 Responses

  1. So glad that things went well and that you are striving to go into things with the attitude that you have work to do. That is half the battle. I agree that it’s hard not to be defensive, but having someone to help you make the stories even more great sounds like an awesome thing.

  2. Maryn says:

    Wow, this sounds like a really great, positive brainstorming session! Also I think it’s awesome that you were able to hear what she was saying (because I would totally be shut down on the defensive for a longer time before I’d be able to start seeing another POV/ angle).

    • viv s says:

      Thank you! I think it helps that I went into this knowing I would need some developmental editing, not just fixing grammar and typos, but help with the flow of the story. It’s still hard not to be somewhat defensive, though. These stories are my babies. 🙂

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