Mind you, I don't have enough information in my head yet about the secondary characters for Indigo to write down more than a line or two for each of them, and I already wrote down all the thoughts I had on Thea and Leith on Days One and Two. Today I'm supposed to be making notes of the various settings in the book, and compiling a research list -- but I don't know yet what specific settings I'm going to need, and since the majority of the book's action takes place in a town where I lived for ten years, I'm not too worried about getting the details wrong.
On a tangential note, though -- I'm trying to decide whether to set Indigo in the actual Sudbury, or a fictional northern Ontario town just like it. The advantage of a fictionalized city is that I can rearrange landmarks and make up new ones without local readers saying, "Hey, there's no such place as Trufflehunter's on Lasalle Boulevard!" It also prevents any potential English readers being confused (since there's a Sudbury in the south of England which is manifestly different from the Canadian one).
On the other hand, it's just possible that nobody actually cares about that stuff so long as the general feel of the place and the major geographic and historical details are right. james_bow, care to weigh in on why you chose to invent Clarksbury rather than work with an actual town? It might help me to decide what I want to do. And, of course, anyone else with experience of reading or writing about contemporary places is heartily invited to comment.
BUT I DIGRESS AS USUAL. The actual point of this entry is to present the fruit of my distractableness, in the form of my revised hook for Knife:
As the Faery Queen's appointed Hunter, Knife has the skill and the courage to fight the crows and other predators who threaten her people's survival. Yet neither she nor the Queen can do anything to stop a mysterious disease from claiming the faeries of the Oak one by one.
But there are humans at the bottom of the garden, and a glimpse inside their House convinces Knife that they have skills and knowledge that could help her people -- even as her mind is troubled by questions she cannot answer. If the human world has so much to offer, why is the Queen determined to keep the Oakenfolk away from it? Is there a connection between the humans and the faeries' loss of magic? And why is Knife drawn to the young Paul McCormick -- that strangest of creatures, a human male?
Driven by the awareness that her people are headed for extinction, Knife determines to learn the truth about the Oakenfolk's past -- a quest which puts her hard-won independence in jeopardy, earns her some unexpected allies, and challenges everything she has ever believed about humans, faeries, and her own heart's desire. And when at last Knife confronts the Faery Queen with what she knows, she is forced to make an agonizing choice between love and freedom that will change her life, and the lives of her people, forever.
Knife is a contemporary YA fantasy of 104,000 words, written in tight third person from the heroine's point of view. It was inspired by my desire to see a fresh take on faeries that was neither cynical nor saccharine, and reflects my love of mystery, adventure and romance.
I've tried to include the added plot and conflict details that Miss Snark and the Snarklings requested, and I think the result is an improvement over the original, but I'm still not sure if it covers all the necessary bases. Thoughts? Suggestions? Squashy tomatoes?
ETA a totally different version of the hook, just to confuse the issue for everyone and MAKE YOU ALL SHARE MY PAIN.