11 August, 2001

So much for writing this journal in a timely fashion. I started working on it about two or three weeks ago and then stalled out. Other stuff, odds and ends just kept getting in the way. Looking for that elusive day job takes time. I need to pay the bills somehow while working on the important stuff like stories and music and stuff. Oh, well, a little procrastination is all part of the writing process. As long as I just keep telling myself that, I will be fine.

I finally finished re-reading The Magic Flute last weekend. Oh, boy, did that take longer than I thought. In my long forgotten youth, I could read a whole book in a day. I figured even if I paced myself that it would only take me a couple of days to finish re-reading the book. What I didn't consider was that I was not simply reading a book. I was using it as a first step toward getting into a writing groove, which takes more energy than simply reading. A combination of the day job situation and exhaustion from finishing The Faire Folk of Gideon: Pin the Tail on the Donkey didn't leave me with a lot of mental energy for The Magic Flute.

I am glad I did the re-read. I discovered about a handful of typos and spelling errors and stuff. I know I edited the damn thing before publishing it the first time. I can't figure out where these errors came from. How could I miss the fact that I consistently misspelled the word "sated"? Oh, well, just goes to show that a writer should never be his own editor, and if I should ever have the money to pay an editor, I'll use it to pay my rent. Lousy day job.

You always hear stories about how many books people like Steven King write. I'm sure it would be nice to have enough money to write all day and not worry about paying next months rent. Okay, I'm done grousing. Lousy Steven King.

Anyway, I finished The Magic Flute and I even made all the corrections to the manuscript. One of these days soon, I'll post a PDF of the first three chapters with the corrections.

I have reached the inescapable conclusion that the first three chapters are the weakest part of the whole book, which is a depressing thought considering those are the chapters I leave on the website for anybody to read. I can tell they were written roundabout 1992, and they show their age. Chapter four was written about 1994, and it is much improved. The prose flows better. The imagery is far richer than anything in the first three chapters, and the characters don't feel like manikins being posed and moved awkwardly about. In fact, the first scene of chapter four is my personal favorite out of the whole book.

It's my own fault for not polishing the beginning of the book, but I do take a "warts-and-all" approach to writing. I don't like to revise. One look at The Faire Folk of Gideon will tell you that. I suppose I could use the fourth chapter as the sample. There's no rule that says I must start at the beginning. Only my stubbornness.

Anyway, the good news is that I have actually scribbled out some notes for the prequel. I'm going to cut out the forward. Start right in with the first scene of chapter one. I figure everything covered in the forward I can find a way to stuff into chapter one. One of the big changes is for Armada to have her big entrance in the first or second scene of the prequel, which is quite a change from all previous drafts where she never appeared until chapter two or three. She's going to meet Tahrl even before Alexander makes his big entrance.

Armada's entrance looks to be very interesting. I'll refrain from putting more here until I've written that scene.

copyright © 2001 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved
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