If Erin and I form a writers’ group, a la the Scribblies, Cameron Dixon will be a member. Cameron is another writer who would be published if there was any justice in the world. He’s co-authoring the Trenchcoat version of Shepherd Moons and he’s very good with story structure. He also has the knack of putting his finger on a small missing detail whose presence could kick a story to the next level. For instance, for Fathom Five, a story about Sirens and Peter remembering his parents’ death, he pointed out that in the accident scene, ambulance sirens should wailing in the distance.
This is what he said about Rosemary and Time:
“I strongly suggest you sit back and take a good think about what we were discussing last time — the important of showing the change in Rosemary’s character, moving her from “closed” to “open”. You’ve got the plot down, you know what happens when; you just need to go back to the beginning and ensure that the characters are different. Start Rosemary off closed and hostile, pushing people away; then let the events of the story reveal that she’s afraid that if she cares too much for people she’ll be hurt when they are; and let her come to that realisation and accept the possibility of hurt, and open herself up again.”
I was nervous at first, but I went in and rewrote the first two chapters of Rosemary and Time. What I got was additional sparks between Peter and Rosemary, and the ability to break up a mass of setting exposition into smaller, more palatable chunks.
As I feared, the change to Rosemary’s initial character is causing ripple effects throughout the story, but I’m up to handling them. Rosemary’s trip through the Land of Fiction will serve to do more than develop her courage; it will allow her to accept the risk of being hurt, and open her up to other people, both real and fictional.