I started to prepare to post another chapter of Home Out In The Wind way early, as a pick-me-up for how terribly my Friday went, but in the proofreading I wound up adding on over 1k words to the chapter and another good big chunk on the next one. Which is even better, and reminds me again how very different a thoroughly-edited work I’ve had time to contemplate is from a post-as-you-write it work that no one has seen but me.
wittering about writing process behind the cut: (ha I had to wait for xkit to fail to install again before I could fix the horizontal rule and make it properly a cut, sorry for anyone who had to scroll past it in the meantime)
Sometimes it’s readers’ notes that prompt these changes, and the initial round of edits all were, but this most recent one is mostly me noticing that in the first draft, I was super into Poe and less into Finn. Which is often the case when I’m writing long things with multiple POVs– there’s one that’s a treat to write and wallow in, and the other that I use just to frame the first one really because the first one is my *~darling sweetheart~*, and on the second pass I’m realizing that (duh) it’s all more interesting if Finn genuinely has his own motivations. And indeed, his own motivations are the parts in the posted chapters that people are reacting to most! Clearly, whether you read this pairing out of Oscar Isaac thirst or not (they’re related conditions, c’mon), it’s a more rewarding story if Finn has inward monologue that’s not just about Poe.
And I knew that when I wrote it, but a lot of times the first draft is just this race to get it down and make it form a structure before you forget where you were going, before you get bogged down in details. And there was one scene in particular that I was absolutely racing toward the switch over to Poe’s POV, in fact I’d already written his POV, I knew what I wanted to happen (and it was going to be so juicy) and I just had to get Finn to a position where he could start the Poe POV scene and that meant establishing why he’d be there, and I literally stuck in a sentence and marked the scene done in my head, and it was no kind of resolution and he was inappropriately upset about the very minor thing I’d given him to be upset about.
And it wasn’t until the last-minute proofreading of the scene that I hit that sentence (which betas had reacted to! not particularly negatively, but people had, and I thought, yes that’s a fine scene ending, sure) and realized that it was a placeholder and I’d surely meant to put a lot more here once I had a better handle on the character.
That’s the other thing; I wrote this entire epic, for the first 50k words or so, in three documents, one from each character’s POV; I instantly realized that Rey’s POV did not start until well after the first two, and she became the draft of the second story. (The second story was literally called “Rey” for a really long time. The Finn POV was called “Finn”. And the Poe POV? Well, indicatively, it was called “SWTFA”. I had not yet realized, or maybe I had, that I was so overwhelmingly interested in Poe above all.
And that’s fine, you can focus around one character. Some of it, as a ficcer, is who I think I can sort of own. I am totally unwilling to touch Rey’s backstory; I know for a certainty it will be revealed in the movies and any story I tell will be outmoded by those revelations. Likewise, I shy away from Kylo Ren and his redemption or not; they’ll absolutely handle that. (I’m going to have to at least mention the character, I get that, and in fact he will appear and will play an important and possibly more ambiguous than originally conceptualized role.)
Poe, I realize, will be getting a tie-in comic and already has a background and all, but those are comics. That means they won’t be doing it in the movies. Comics, you can kind of brush aside a little. Very few people will read it, and if they do, they won’t absorb it the same way. Comics are awesome and I incorporate them where I can. Movies, though. Movies obliterate your work.
Finn may or may not get a backstory. I’m not so sure about him.
But anyway. Poe was clearly the most appealing for me, and I feel best about filling him in, and that’s fine.
But Finn has POV scenes, and that’s a decision I made. He therefore needs to be a rounded character. And for some reason making him do that is something I have had to mull over a lot before I could do.
I’m just glad I have the chance to do that.
Anyway, chapter update will probably be Wednesday as originally scheduled; I have to shake it really hard to make the new bit settle properly. I got another 2k into the next chapter too, it was kind of rewarding. All of it is Finn.