I had to make a big decision on the structure of The Mad Queen’s Game that cuts out a major plot line. It adds up to removing half the book.
This cut is a good decision — the two narratives don’t actually fit together, but I thought I could do it with sheer will power and creative force. Silly me. It turns out what I suspected from the beginning is correct, that the second narrative is actually redundant thematically. I pout in shame for not listening to that.
Of course, the material would make a terrific book in itself, a parallel story that’s more swashbuckling and adventurous in the same world. So it’s not lost time, really. I think the way to avoid this in the future is to:
Keep it Simpler, Anderson. Repetition without advancement of theme or mood might mean something needs to be cut. Watch for that early on next time.
2) Outline to Streamline
When in doubt, put the most effort into streamlining the plot. You’re just fine at complicating things later. No need to put more effort into that than you need to early on, Barth.
3) Breaking New Ground is Always Best
Sniff out the fun and new. That’ll allow you to see the plot more clearly earlier.
In other developments, I found a GIF of my main character from a 2001 Spanish movie called Juana la Loca.
My book, The Mad Queen’s Game, is about Juana of Castile (Spain) who is slapping her incredible prick of a hubby in this GIF. Yay!
My Juana is very different than the Juana in this movie but it’s still fun to see how she’s presented, especially in her homeland. My Juana is not a basket case for a man, as she turns out to be in this flick: My Juana is mentally ill (and in my opinion she suffered from severe depression if not something stronger) but she had to suffer a mind-blowing Greek Tragedy-level of grief that didn’t have much to do with this dweeb in the GIF.
That said, there’s a lot behind this slap. He deserves a hot one across the chops, and after two years of research, I wanna slap this incredible prick, too.