Mark Terry

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fortress Update

October 8, 2008
As regular readers of this blog know, I was having some problems with a middle readers manuscript, The Fortress of Diamonds. It basically is an adventure story with the main character, Jericho Miles, following clues and puzzles across the southwest in search of her missing archaeologist father. Along with her is one of her father's grad students, Ash.

I sort of envisioned it as a cross between Indiana Jones and National Treasure. I had fun writing it, mostly, and that may be the most important point, ultimately.

My agent liked it a lot except the ending, which she wanted me to change. The ending dealt with the what actually was at The Fortress of Diamonds, which I envisioned as a sort of portal into time. 

The whole story borrows from or is inspired by Anasazi anthropology and Hopi mythology--the blue star kachina prophecy, Coronado, cities of Gold, conquistadors, migrations, journeys between the various worlds, all wrapped up in maternal memories, etc.

Except my agent didn't like the ending and thought it was derivative and boring. I don't agree on the derivative point, no more than anything else written these days by me or anyone else--we all build on the shoulders of giants. Boring, however, is a problem. Although my beta readers didn't agree, I needed to fix that so my agent would market the manuscript.

I blanked on it, which is not typical for me. When an agent or an editor suggests to me a problem, I almost always can supply half a dozen fixes off the top of my head. Not so this time and I struggled.

Finally, after blogging about it before, I went back to source material--Hopi mythology. And quickly tripped over things I had considered the first time around--the central figure of Spider Woman or Spider Grandmother (see figure above), Skeleton Man or Masauwu, who is the Spirit of Death and the Keeper of Fire, and unexpectedly, considering that Jeri's father, Roger Miles, had disappeared into the Fortress, the prophecy of the Pahana, the "Lost White Brother," which is a second coming myth not unlike that of Jesus or any other number of religious messiahs. Hopi mythology says that the Pahana will return again, the wicked will be destroyed and a new age of peace will come into the world. (It has some interesting parallels to Aztec mythology and Quetzalcoatl).

Also, Hopi mythology tells stories of Spider Grandmother leading the people from one world to the next through a portal, or a straw, (which in kivas is represented by a sipapu, or fire pit in the center of the circular kiva) and how the people transformed as they passed into the new world--there are 9 worlds in that mythology and the current world is apparently the 4th.

So, after some masticating and digesting, I made the changes, which were not all that easy to make, but in the end turned out to be shorter and more to the point than I expected. I sent it off to my agent, she liked it, requesting only that I add something at the end that would suggest a sequel, which I was happy to do. She liked that, too, and now she's ready to start marketing the manuscript.

Will it sell?

Hell if I know.

Am I happy with the new ending?

Reasonably. It works. It satisfies my agent and it might be more appropriate for the reading level, and will probably please boy readers as well as girl readers, which is always a dicey proposition when writing about a female main character. That said, I wasn't unhappy or dissatisfied with what I had written the first time around.

So, ultimately, it's out of my hands now and we'll see.

Mark Terry


Blogger Stephen Parrish said...

I was honored to read the earlier version, and I felt the conclusion was powerful. The final chapters were real page turners.

For what it's worth.

8:51 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, well, Stephen, I would have been happy to go with that version as well. Now the ending is more action and adventure, while the earlier version went for an emotional kick (which my agent thought was boring).

I suppose if editors all pass on it, I could start peddling the first version somewhere, if I have the stamina for it.

9:43 AM  
Blogger Zoe Winters said...

That's awesome! Congrats!

As for derivative...yeah and so is everything else. And it always has been. Art always influences other art or is influenced by it. It's why we have art movements. Why would fiction be any different?

To me it feels like "derivative" is a cop out from saying what you really mean. "Copy-cat" is a different thing, but...maybe people are trying to be PC. Though I doubt what you wrote was a copycat anything.

Even if it was...some book I swear was a Spike/Buffy fanfic with diff character names hit the NYT bestseller clearly derivative has nothing to do with sales ability.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Jude Hardin said...

Congrats, Mark! Sounds like a cool book.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

This is good news. Although I really liked the original ending I guess there are endless different ways things can be written. No perfect ending, or perfect word, Flaubert notwithstanding.

As for if most of the stuff on the bestseller list isn't in some sense derivative. Hell, if someone likes it then it's an homage, or in the style of, or the author is the next coming of so and so...we're all swimming in the same pool of ideas. Stuff is only "derivative" or "trite" or whatever when the reader doesn't like it. It's just one of the excuses agents and editors like to use, instead of just saying they didn't personally care for it, who knows why. Sounds better to give a solid reason.

5:31 PM  
Blogger peter.w said...

仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架 塑料托盘|栈板 钢托盘|钢制托盘 折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 托盘|钢托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 周转箱|塑料周转箱 托盘|纸托盘 料箱|钢制料箱 工具柜|工具车|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌 刀具柜|刀具车|刀具架 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|手动叉车 仓储笼 仓库笼 南京仓储笼 常州仓储笼 无锡仓储笼 苏州仓储笼 徐州仓储笼 南通仓储笼 镇江仓储笼 连云港仓储笼 泰州仓储笼 扬州仓储笼 盐城仓储笼 淮安仓储笼 宿迁仓储笼 轻量型货架|角钢货架 中量A型货架 中量B型货架 货位式货架 横梁式货架 阁楼式货架|钢平台 悬臂式货架 贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 辊轮式货架|流利条货架 压入式货架 移动式货架|密集架 模具货架 抽屉式货架 汽车4S店货架 汽配库货架 自动化立体仓库货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|铁板手推车 手推车|静音手推车 置物架|工业置物架|家用置物架 堆垛架|巧固架 挂板架|物料整理架 登高车 物流台车|载物台车 料箱|钢制料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 堆高机|堆垛机|手动堆高机|电动堆高机 叉车|电动叉车|内燃叉车|叉车厂 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|横梁式货架|中型货架 钢托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|折叠式仓储笼|仓库笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 托盘|塑料托盘|栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 搬运车|手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|液压搬运车 仓储货架|>仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|中型货架|横梁式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|塑料托盘|纸托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 钢制料箱|工具柜|工作台 手动液压托盘搬运车|手动液压堆高车 仓库货架|中量A型货架 仓储货架|中量B型货架 库房货架|横梁式货架|货位式货架 钢托盘|钢制托盘|铁托盘|栈板 塑料托盘|塑料栈板 纸托盘|栈板 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼|蝴蝶笼|储物笼 钢制料箱|钢质周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|托盘搬运车 货架|仓储货架|仓库货架|库房货架 南京货架|上海货架|北京货架 轻型货架|中型货架|搁板式货架 重型货架|横梁式货架|托盘式货架 托盘|木托盘|纸托盘|木塑托盘 托盘|钢托盘|塑料托盘|钢制托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 手推车|静音手推车|铁板手推车 物料架|整理架|挂板架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱|网格式料箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|手动叉车 塑料周转箱|物流箱|塑料化工桶|塑料卡板箱 工具柜|上海工具柜|南京工具柜|抽屉柜 工作台|工作桌|南京工作台|上海工作台 刀具车|刀具柜|刀具架|刀具座 货架 货架厂 货架公司 仓储货架 仓库货架 库房货架 南京货架 上海货架 托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 货架|轻量型货架|角钢货架 货架|中量型货架|次重型货架 货位式货架|横梁式货架|重量型货架 仓储货架|阁楼式货架|钢平台 仓储货架|悬臂式货架 仓储货架|贯通式货架|通廊式货架|驶入式货架 仓库货架|库房货架|抽屉式货架|模具货架 仓库货架|库房货架|汽车4S店货架|汽配库货架 货架厂|货架公司|南京货架|上海货架|无锡货架|苏州货架 货架厂|货架公司|北京货架|天津货架|沈阳货架|大连货架 货架厂|货架公司|广州货架|深圳货架|杭州货架 托盘|钢托盘|钢制托盘 托盘|塑料托盘 仓储笼|仓库笼|折叠式仓储笼 置物架|多功能置物架|卫浴置物架 料箱|钢制料箱|钢制周转箱 手动液压托盘搬运车|不锈钢托盘搬运车|电动托盘搬运车 手动液压堆高车|半电动堆高车|电动堆高车|堆垛车 货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 货架 货架 货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓储货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 仓库货架 货架厂 货架厂 货架厂 货架公司 货架公司 货架公司 托盘 钢托盘 铁托盘 钢制托盘 塑料托盘 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 托盘 塑料托盘 钢托盘 钢制托盘 铁托盘 货架厂 仓储笼 仓库笼 折叠式仓储笼 折叠仓储笼 南京货架 货架公司 货架厂 仓库货架 仓储货架 货架 货架

6:08 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home