Maybe. As I mentioned, I’ve long been having problems with chapters five and six of Fathom Five. I’m happy with the first four chapters and how Peter and Rosemary fumble around in the uncharted territories of young love, and almost screw everything up, but once they pass into the siren world, the story fizzled for me. The characters didn’t spark, plot elements refused to be placed together, and the siren world itself did not feel real. So, I took some time off and worked on The Young City.
When I came back, I removed one of the plot elements: the ancient shipwrecked sailors. The story no longer called for them, I decided. I also altered the siren world so that it was more of a reflection of Clarksbury, which helped to reflect upon Peter’s true wishes when he looks for the place he belongs. A character (Ariel) stepped out of nowhere and demanded more screen time, and I was wise enough to listen to her. Finally, at Erin’s suggestion, I inserted an initial confrontation between Rosemary and the siren temptress Fiona early in chapter five. This framed the conflict to follow nicely.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but Fathom Five passed the 26500 word mark last night, and the story is now mapped out to the end. Time will tell whether or not it sparks.
I feel a little under pressure to make Fathom Five especially good. Unlike The Young City, Fathom Five has to prove that Rosemary and Time can have sequels. If it does its job well, then The Young City doesn’t need any help in establishing its right to exist. If Fathom Five fails, then The Young City doesn’t exist. It’s as simple as that. So, more than Rosemary and Time, Fathom Five has a line of doubters whispering into my ear. Ignoring them is proving a little wearing.
Or it could just be a long week. Now that it’s the weekend, Erin and I intend to go someplace and lose ourselves in our writing. We’ll see how Fathom Five develops from there.