Welcome to the second installment of The Plotstains Perspective. Today, I’ll discuss the results of switching chapters around, and differences in style.
In last week’s chapter of Shadows Rise (please read that first if you haven’t), we met a number of new characters and had a view of the structuring inside of the Wolfpack. From my rough count, I think we had seven characters with dialogue in this chapter. That’s a whole lot to take in and I hope we did well to allow you to follow through each of the interactions and take a bit of personality in while we did. I think we did pretty well, but I know that originally, when I read this chapter, I’d been given a bit of trouble, and I’m familiar enough with the story. Some changes have been made since I first read it for clarity sake, though.
The first time I read this chapter, it was intended to be the first chapter of this arc. If you’re following my perspective, you’ll know that I had quite a bit of fear in bringing up this issue with Blackbird. It all turned out fine, thankfully. Now we can look at this in a little more detail.
My biggest issue from this chapter was that it gave out too much new detail in too little time. My fear for the reader was that there was no level of familiarity for any of these characters. While Blackbird knows them intimately (which is a topic I’ll probably discuss at another time), the reader doesn’t and I knew that this might alienate some readers who might feel overwhelmed by the information. This was my main issue for asking her to change the chapter order. From the first chapter, we recognize a few things. Namely, we recognize Claire, Sarah, and the Alpha’s cabin. Additionally, we get some tangential information in the form of the two sisters who have both snuck out late at night. We get to meet them in the second chapter as Lena and Dani. From all of these points of familiarity, it puts a lot less pressure on the reader as a whole in chapter 2. All you have to do is remember these details from the previous chapter and you can get an idea of who these people might be before they begin to talk to one another.
Do you agree? Feel free to leave a comment and explain what you think about the ordering of these chapters. Did I make the right choice or should Blackbird start posting on Indeed for a new editor? I’d love to hear the feedback.
Onto my next point. This chapter is extremely dialogue heavy. This is probably the biggest difference between Blackbird and I in our writing styles. I love to tell the story through the atmosphere I set and Blackbird likes to tell her stories through the words that characters have for each other. So when I read things that are dialogue heavy, like this chapter, I feel a deep desire to change it and make it more my style. There’s nothing wrong with Blackbird’s style, though, and so I try to limit the writer’s brain when I make these sorts of edits. I need to play to the strengths of my author and that strength is in dialogue. She’s pretty damn good at making some real, compelling conversations.
At the end of the day, some people like dialogue heavy reading material and some like something that builds a plot in different ways. Neither are wrong. Changing the style of a work isn’t really in my job description and I want to keep that in mind when I edit. You’ve come to read Blackbird’s writing; you don’t read it for mine. My time will come in the series, but it isn’t here.
Feel free to comment on any thoughts you had about the chapter. About how it was structured. About the characters or your thoughts on the Wolfpack. I’d be excited to hear what you think and will reply to all of them. It isn’t like I have much else to do while I self-isolate. Keep me company and join the conversation.
Until next time,