Whew! It's been quite a month. While this blog was... elsewhere, I was deep in the Middle Hundred, revising Orleans. That question I had asked about flashbacks? Yeah, that was a cry for help from the depths of my rewrite. How much information is too much information for an audience? There are so many deleted scenes in every novel I write, it would fill an extra book. I wish authors could do that-- release a companion book of deleted scenes and commentary, like the bonus features on a DVD. Hmm... I might be onto something here.
The decision so far is to avoid the flashback in favor of informative actions and conversation. Sometimes this can come off as "and now an explanatory speech," but if it's done right, the reader doesn't notice. You know those moments when a character is telling a story and you find yourself asking "yeah? what happened?!?" There's a great scene in the movie JAWS like that. (Know which scene I'm talking about?) I wish I had written that scene.
That said, Orleans is now off in the hands of my new editors (yes, that's something else that's changed recently). Now I have a little bit of breathing room to rebuild this blog, and toy with some other projects. Case in point? "Keeping Christmas." I've written a short story for a collection of holiday tales produced by a local indie bookstore, Vromans in Pasadena, CA. We'll be doing a reading of the stories this Sunday, December 5th at 5pm. Join us and start the holiday season right!