Red Witchy Woman

Even as I prep to release Hedge Doctor: Prom and am polishing Last Call, I’m drafting my second novel, The Red Witch.

Today, I’m a little frustrated. It’s a pacing issue. My novels all play with narrative structure. While I kept my shorts and novellas straight forward (For the most part. Talasam and Hunted Down both play with time and perception.), my novels have a more funky take.

The first one, The Haven, has an overlapping story structure, with short chunks of scenes being mirrored in the dual Main Characters’s chapters. This was needed to show how both characters saw certain actions. It also sets up tension, because you could see the one-sided romance develop.

The Red Witch follows the titular Witch, months ahead of her actual appearance  to the protagonists. I start the book with her chapter, and then we get another one every two chapters.

It’s like a sadistic game of leap frog

And there in lies my issue. I think the reveals are off. I think that we need to build up more tension about what she’s up to, before we see what she has been up to.

The real issue here: My novels are doorstoppers. So I won’t really know if the timing is off until someone finishes it (which incidentally means that I need to finish this draft).

Then, if my hunch is right, I write an additional Witch chapter, insert it into the narrative, and bump all the other chapters up… and then I have to ask my betas to read the whole thing… again.

Now I know that I wouldn’t mind doing this, but I can read a novel this size in a day or two.

And yes, I know that most of my betas won’t mind reading and rereading, but still… it’s a lot of wordage.

Of course, that’s assuming that I’m right about the timing… although I really feel like that extra bump will help build tensions. I feel like Edie and Marley should see the aftermath before we see the ‘math’, as it were.

Ah well, here’s to years of rewrites!

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