Okay, so I thought it might take several days to complete the basic revision pass for MARAG. But, oh look, a snow day! (Ice, actually.)
That’s good timing in several ways, rather annoying in other ways, but the basic result of having a three-day weekend right now is that I will probably complete this revision pass today. I have eight notes left. They are the most annoying notes because when it comes to revision, I do the easiest stuff first. Changing names I have decided I don’t like to different names, stuff like that. Things like “Complete this subplot” and “Read through the whole story and see if Marag’s fundamental character comes through clearly enough” comes dead last.
I started to say “character arc” there. But Marag doesn’t really have a character arc. Neither does Sinowa, come to think of it. Minimal arcs, anyway. The whole basic story unrolls rather fast, the pace gets intense. If you exclude the lead-in and the denouement, then … three days, I think, for the basic story. The relationship arc is, as you probably expect, getting to see each other at their best and falling for each other. Without ever using the word “love” because the Ugaro don’t think of it that way.
Both Marag and Sinowa start off pretty sure of themselves. The exact kind of confidence each of them has is different, but they’re both pretty confident. They don’t become more confident of themselves during this story, or not much. I mean, how could they? Marag has been a singer since she was twelve. She knows she going to become a truly exceptional singer — this has been obvious to everyone for a good while; that’s why her marriage is so important. Sinowa has had high standing among his people for a long time; he’s tremendously confident because of course he is.
During the story, they don’t become more confident of themselves. They both become much more confident of each other. That’s the arc. I didn’t really think about it that way until now, but that’s what this story shows: it’s a combined arc, not two different individual arcs. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. The plot is pretty straightforward. It’s not really a mystery story. Some of the details are murky even at the end (and may serve as plot hooks for some other story). The point isn’t the mystery, it’s the sheer difficulty of solving the problem. A singer couldn’t have done it alone. A warrior couldn’t have done it at all. That’s pretty much the point.
I’m very much looking forward to comments from early readers! I am still doing stuff with subplots and I do want to read through the whole thing again from the tope, but barring random disasters such as power outages from the ice or whatever, I will probably be ready to send it out later this week.