East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Rewriting Chapter Twelve


Leonid_Pasternak_001And so the twelfth chapter has to be rewritten.
Oh, well, it’s part of the job.

Fact is, my content editor pointed out a hole – the sort of hole through which a zeppelin might fly.
Basically – chapter twelve: our heroes escape from their cell and wreak havoc in the bad guy‘s (the bad gal’s, actually) base.

Enter the content editor: how comes they are prisoner and the bad gal locks ’em up together?
Implied question: is the bad gal stupid?

Suggested rewrite – chapter twelve: the hero escapes his cell, rescues the heroine, and together they wreak havoc in the bad gal’s base.
Nice and smooth.

doc savage & pat savageBut what the heck.
It’s my rewrite, after all.
So I’m currently working on the following – chapter twelve: the heroine escapes her cell, rescues the hero, and together they wreak havoc on the bad gal’s base.

Which is quite a simple change, but it makes the whole lot much more fun.
It subverts expectations.
It provides my female lead ample opportunity to shine and show how smart and resourceful she is.
It provides both leads ample opportunity for smart, tongue-in-cheek banter.
It can lead to some pretty tight action.
It seals the hole pointed out by the content editor more or less the way the content editor suggested.

Because you see, I like the old pulps, don’t get me wrong, but babes needing to be rescued tend to become old news pretty fast.
After all, my female lead has been presented as “the new woman” (which is not something I made up – it’s historically accurate labeling of certain ladies in the ’30s in Shanghai), and she strikes a pretty tough figure on the cover of the book, so it’s time we give her some room to show us what she’s capable of doing.

It will be a great appetizer for the big finale, when she and the male lead…
But that’s ok, maybe you’ll buy the book and read it.

Real Time Update – (two hours after publishing this post) the chapter has been rewritten and it does, indeed kick ass. I’m also very pleased with the way I was able to save what good there was in the original, and improve on it.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

4 thoughts on “Rewriting Chapter Twelve

  1. So much curious of reading it…
    It sounds so compelling and I love smart ladies!
    I can listen your heroine saying: “I’d had enough of waiting, finally my moment arrived!” 😉


  2. Pingback: La damigella ha anche rotto | Book and Negative

  3. Pingback: The damsel in distress has reached the expiration date, thank you very much | Space of entropy

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