4 minutes 18 seconds| Shopping malls of the 1980s, in all their pomp and pastel tints, are given the glamour treatment. The sweep is panoramic and kid-friendly, and where the strings rise to dominate near the end of the middle, I include a very brief quote from Franz Liszt’s Ave Maria as a transition to the bridge.
The time stamp for creation shows 11/06/17. The Logic time stamp records 11/14/17 as the probable date of separation from Impareggiabile.
Book Notes on Icarus Transfigured| 2018 edits:
I cannot say if I am a better writer in 2018 than I was in 2007, but I am a better editor. I find reading my one finished novel a joyless undertaking by this stage, and that actually gives the author a measure of impartiality when taking a knife to his beloved.
Introductory Chapters: In re-proofreading my novel over the years, I usually began with Chapter Three. The three Prologues and Chapters One and Two were pushed to the end, and consequently suffered due to my fatigue and haste to finish.
These introductory pages made me nervous since they were the first thing (the only thing) that an agent or publisher might see. In them I had to make a case for the book, sketch in themes, and show literary flourish. It was this last aspect that undercut my effort, especially in the first two Prologues. I have been reluctant to trim the flowery prose, but I am an older man now with different priorities, and it is easier than I imagined.
Chapter 3, 4, and 5: The same can be said here, where I devote too many paragraphs to describing myself. It is important in these early chapters to paint a picture of the autistic character, but not to belabor the point. The real action of the book does not begin until Chapter Six, so I have cut with a mind toward getting to it sooner.
One of the issues I am dealing with in this round of edits is “how much reinforcement does the book’s symbolism need?” Not much, I have concluded. Such was the foreshadowing scene that ended Chapter Four. I originally put it in because I felt the back and forth between Jacques and Aloysius went on too long, and so the chapter needed a suspenseful ending. I ended up cutting some of that back and forth, and likewise the new closing paragraphs set an ominous tone without overt references to coming action.
It is very difficult to write a scary scene, and the one that ends Chapter Five had a pacing problem. I decided to eliminate the slowing measures where I describe Aloysius’ reaction to the strange phone call as it unfolds. I re-presented the essential ideas of the scare with analogous imagery rather than literal description.
Later Chapters: After Emma makes her entrance in Chapter Six, things pick up, although more developmental chapters are to come. It is my hope that I make a good case for many of these chapters, as with meeting police detective Harrod Pincher and Amber Monet.
As to the latter character, the final scene of the last chapter before the epilogue was my attempt to tie Suzanne, Amber, Emma and two unborn children together with a tidy bow. I have never liked this slice-and-dice ending—too much information too forcibly made to fit. I thought by giving this chapter a different format that the reader might buy the soap opera-like presentation of the material. I never did, so—I trimmed it down to one plot twist instead of a half a dozen.
These various threads have not been completely obliterated, but instead have been absorbed (less fancifully) into other scenes, especially those transpiring between Aloysius and Erica in their pivotal chapter. I have even added in a bit about the unlikely origin of the answering machine, which puts yet another twist on this complicated business.
I have also discovered that by eliminating information previously given greater exposition, I have made less important subplots more mysterious. This is particularly true of the suitcase, which originally contained monetary compensation to Aloysius for injuries received from his ‘accident.’ Instead, I have left holes as to this outcome, though one may piece it together with patience.
Omar’s Letters: I was able to cut a fair amount out of Omar’s letters, especially since I am fleshing out some of these ideas in my present novel.
Padding Pages: To pad out my remaining musical opus pages, I have blown the dust off of some notes for Icarus Transfigued. They have, I believe, held up well as explanatory material. These notes begin on the next page and run for seven pages.
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