I’m doubling on my revisions right now. I’m still revising Book Three of my Guardian of the Opera trilogy. Meanwhile I finished the prep work for The Princess Beyond the Thorns, and have started in to revise the first short story (or short novella) I wrote some months ago, which will be Part One of the novel.
The first thing I’ve realized is that I want to bring the point of view of my other protagonist, Prince Terrence (you’ve been meeting him in recent weeks) into this first section, which was originally entirely Princess Rose. Unlike recent Phantom revisions, I don’t think I’m going to rewrite/replace anything substantive. But there are some places that were skimmed past, some time gaps, that I think could be filled in with Terrence’s point of view. We’ll see how it goes!
Rose’s voice, especially in this first section, has a very fairy tale quality to it. Details are indistinct, and we are much deeper in her head than we are in the world. Terrence isn’t like that. Rose has been trapped in the garden for a hundred years and, in a metaphorical though not literal sense, she’s asleep. Her voice will change as the novel goes on–but Terrence stumbles onto the scene from the outside world, and he’s already awake. So I’ve already started having fun contrasting his voice, putting in far more detail than I originally had in the story.
Here’s a bit from my new Chapter Two that demonstrates this rather nicely.
He wasn’t sure he had ever really expected to find the Princess Behind Thorns. He wasn’t sure he had ever entirely believed she existed. He had heard stories about her all his life, about the sleeping princess under a curse, waiting for a champion to set her free. His father had a portrait of Princess Rose Amelia in his throne room, an elegant woman with golden hair piled up on her head, wearing a dress cut in the fashion of a century ago.
At least, Elena said it was the fashion of a century ago. He couldn’t tell the difference himself.
He wished Elena was here. She might know what to do, now that he was faced with, not a portrait, but an actual, living girl. She looked enough like the princess in the portrait that he knew she had to be the right one—and at that thought, he laughed at himself. Because what was the alternative? That some other woman was living behind a wall of thorns, pretending to be a princess?
At the thought of the thorns, he pushed himself up to his feet. He didn’t know what to do about Princess Rose, who wasn’t asleep and didn’t want to have anything to do with him, but the next logical step in a rescue was still obvious.
He retraced the path he had taken to the pond, following his own footprints on the dust of the garden paths. The sharp edges of his boots stood out in marked contrast to the soft hollows of her footprints. Her steps were everywhere, an endless layering of clearer prints atop worn away ones, criss-crossed by the outlines of tiny paws.
Terrence hadn’t expected cats either.