You might have noticed I posted a tenth chapter to volume 2 on FictionPress. It’s only a partial chapter, because I paused midway through writing the chapter. I wasn’t going to post it, lest people start focusing on volume 2 when they should really be looking to volume 1. But what I’ve written of that tenth chapter really sums up where their relationship is headed, and where Rome is at as far as progress toward saying “I love you.” Labriella’s perspective is also key to understanding what happened exactly while Rome blacked out the night before, and how she’s handling the bondage thing (e.g. not completely freaking out).
Summation aside, I posted the partial chapter because I figured it was the most effective method of letting my readers know what I’m doing and where they should look for updates (and what kind of updates those might be).
I am not, however, finishing chapter 10 right now. What I posted was from before I started my rewrite.
And yes, that’s what it’s turning into: a rewrite. Not because the first few versions were horrible, but because I got away from the point. I went on this whole character-developing spurt with Labriella, when the story is really not supposed to be about her. She’s important, and she heads off the story, but she is not the beast-king. She is meant to showcase him. And that is exactly what she’s going to do. Several people have commented that they wanted to see more of Rome’s perspective. But when I went back through to chart whether I spent too much time in Labriella’s P.O.V., I found that that wasn’t necessarily the case. The problem, I think, is that the entirety of the story in volume 1 revolved around Labriella, when in fact it should have revolved around Rome. So as much as you may have liked volume 1, I’ve got to change it, because it’s a nice rabbit trail, but not the actual story.
My rewrite has taken me at last to the dreaded house-cleaning scenes. I have two goals:
- Make it more realistic. Labriella needs to sleep before she cleans. She’s been through rape and suicide attempts. How come she’s not even dwelling on it, or on why it happened? Shouldn’t she have bruises? Shouldn’t she have nightmares of her own?
- Interrupt and intersperse. This isn’t about cleaning; this is about Labriella and Rome learning how to live together. Cleaning his room against his will, Labriella wanting seeds or tea or supplies from town–these things should be mixed in with house cleaning and discovering her menstrual cycle. These are all aspects of a man and a woman, a human and a beast, a fugitive and a recluse, a bastard nobleman and a temple servant, living together. This was, in my opinion, a missed opportunity for growth and understanding the first time through.
I hate this chapter. I always have to come back to revise it, to make it less tedious. But hopefully, by the time I’m done with it, it won’t be known as “the house-cleaning chapter.” Hopefully it will just be two people coming to terms with their new situation–with living under one roof–and learning how to deal.
I haven’t decided what to name this chapter yet, or the one before it. Previously, I named them “Know Thy Place” and “The House of My Youth.” But the former sounds like it could be used more effectively later, and the latter doesn’t reflect the changing relationship or any actual events, so…I’ll have to ponder that one for awhile. Hopefully by the time I’m done with this chapter, I’ll have a name.
Here’s to character-building! The world builds itself.