Shanna Swendson (shanna_s) wrote,
Shanna Swendson

Chapters Three and Four

I don't know that the new book is going to get started today, after all. It still feels kind of unbaked in my head. I may play around with some possible openings and see if it starts shaping up. However, I've learned that there are some questions from the proofreader on the steampunk book coming, so I'm likely to have distractions anyway. I swear, that book is the jealous younger sibling who has to jump up and demand attention exactly when I'm about to work on something else. I also didn't get as much work on the web site done as I wanted. I updated some of the information, but I'm going to need to entirely rework the opening page, and I'm not sure how I want to do that yet. The Enchanted Inc. series covers are the main graphic on the page, but do I want to entirely replace them with the new book, or should I keep them in some way while highlighting the new one, offering some continuity? I'll have to think about it.

In the meantime, the Enchanted, Inc. reread continues, with chapters three and four.

It was a real blast from the past to reread chapter three, the one where Katie first really meets Owen during that informal job interview meeting. I'm pretty critical of my own work, but I really like the writing for that scene. That was also the scene where Owen came to life and started taking over. I really didn't have grand plans for him at that point. He mostly existed to contrast with Rod, the unattractive guy everyone else seemed to find irresistible, as the attractive guy no one noticed. But once he appeared in the scene, he really came to life and I fell a bit in love. That was a case of sheer character alchemy because I did next to no pre-writing character development on him, no planning. He just stepped onstage and came to life. I did more work on him later, but it was more about teasing out what already seemed to be there than about creating it. I knew I had something when the friend I was sending chapters to responded rather strongly and wanted to know all about him.

The magically somewhat hidden office building was another detail that came from my research trip. I wanted the company to be based in lower Manhattan, as it would have been the kind of thing there from some of the earlier settlement. There are some old buildings in that part of town, and I did a lot of wandering and taking pictures. But I didn't find the building itself until I got home and got my film developed (yes, this was in the Dark Ages). I'd been taking photos at the park in front of City Hall because there were actual gaslights, and I thought that was cool. But in the background of those photos was a building on a narrow side street that had actual turrets. I'd walked past it and had taken all those photos without even seeing it. It's actually a fairly modern building built in an old style, but I figure that's just the cover the real world sees. A building I only saw when I looked in the background of a photo I took of something else seemed like the perfect candidate for my headquarters.

The magical farmers' market was an addition that came in copyedits. I'd visited the market during my research trip and wrote in that visit. Then after I sold the book, I took another trip to New York for additional research and to meet my new editor, and I headed to the market, only to find that it was closed that day of the week -- which was the day of the week I had Katie visiting it. I told my editor about this when we met, and we decided that, duh, it was a magical market the rest of the world didn't see, so I added that bit when I got the copyedits, and I think it even strengthened Katie's decision to make the leap to the new job, since she'd learned enough to realize what was really going on and knew she'd never really be "normal" again.
Tags: enchanted inc

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