The membership of the Southern Indiana Writers Group has changed over the twenty or so years we've been together. Some of us have been there the whole time. Others have left, and new members have joined. So, when I began the rewrite on the book formerly known as Eel's Reverence (first published as Eel's Revenge), I decided I couldn't do better than to take it and read it to the group, a chapter at a time.
knew that the chances were good that the new members would catch things
we missed in our earlier days. Sure enough, one of our long-time
members caught something and one of our new members caught something
the title implies, what we had all overlooked (chiefly, of course, me,
since it's my little world) were obvious. Things that, once pointed out,
made me slap my forehead and go, "Duh!"
The main character is a
woman, a priest of Micah, a holy man of legend. The main conflict is
between her and the priests of a section of coastline called The Eel,
who are mercenary hypocrites. Her spiritual stance and behavior are
central to the action. And what did I forget?
She's hidden by a family who had prepared a secret room, certain that a "true" priest would come to them, eventually. And I forgot to have them put an altar in the room.
Although she's always saying to others or thinking to herself about what a priest of Micah would do, she never has an inner dialog with Micah,
the way Christians pray to God the Father, Jesus, Mary, or a saint. I
could pretend I decided priests of Micah don't do that, but that would
be a lie. I just left it out. Didn't think of it. Missed the obvious.
know why I did it: I was thinking about other parts of the story
construction. But that's what rewrites are for, and that's especially
what getting new eyes on something is for: reminding us of the obvious
things we overlooked in writing and editing and rewriting and revising
and reworking. And I still missed the obvious!
Marian Allen, Author Lady
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