At Death’s Door is going through another round of edits. I just finished the read through and I can see the spots and holes and problems. Then I can see things that are nagging as you read, like, you know… that’s not what he said before.
The timeline is definitely all over the place.
Here’s the thing, I’ve got two options. Do things and fix all the things, or use those slip ups to my advantage. Some of them may not have been slip ups, they could have been Quin losing track of time, or mixing up memories. I believe he says as much.
He also says a couple of times that they were instructed not to scare the delicate little mortals.
Then there were some nagging bits bothering me so I went to the character causing them and handed them to her and we looked at one another for a time. She considered not telling me, I could see it in her eyes. She’s not a character whose head I ride inside of, sometimes they surprise me.
In the end she told me.
There are nagging bits and burrs and seeing the end of the trilogy, I just kind of sat there for a minute, then started shouting at the characters.
Knowing that ending allows me to alter a few things. It kind of explains a few things, why things sat the way they did. Why that one was just like that, why that person was just so. I can smooth a few things over or rough them up in a few other places.
There were bits and pieces that I absolutely loved, but then the voice changed. So I need to go back and recreate that voice through the entire thing.
I’m on chapter two of that re-write (sure, let’s just call it a re-write instead of an edit) and I’m having difficulty moving forward.
I don’t want to do this again.
Quin’s is a story of abuse that spans centuries. It’s the kind of abuse that people normally give flowery names to. If he had been born a girl, he might have even been called a “child bride” instead of facing the truth.
And he’s completely unapologetic about it. You asked what happened, this is what happened, don’t get weepy or bristled about it, it didn’t happen to you. Unless it did, then respect that this is how he has come to terms with what was done to him.
He’s also at a critical stage of his growth. He hadn’t quite shrugged off his abuser, but he’s about to face the man for the first time in centuries. It could go either way. He could fall into that trap again, or make the next step and defy, finally coming to terms with the fact that he is in control, he can take control of his abuser.
Because this is a vampire, after that step he could, in theory, become the abuser. He could exact every revenge fantasy of every body in the world.
But I don’t think Quin’s like that. He’s thought of ending it all, but never torment or revenge.
He just wants it to end.
And I don’t want to go through his life story again, adding in more details as he dictates them.
But I will.
Because he asked me to.
If what he was asking me to add would alter that voice that dragged me into the narration, I would say no to him. There’d be no point otherwise. I’m all for a whipping boy, but even I can only take a character being subjected to so much.
Like pretty well all my stories, there’s probably a light at the end of the mine shaft I dropped them down. Things probably work out in the end. But that doesn’t change the fact that Quin spent fifteen hundred years, his entire life, in an abusive relationship because he didn’t have the support he needed to get free.
Not until Helen walked in, called him Mr. Fedora, and asked him why?