by Lazarus Black
I've been struggling with book 2 for a bit. Something was...off. It was unfocused and tedious. I've been plodding through it, thinking I might just be tired or stressed, but last night it finally hit me. Art! Book 2 is all about Dreams the way Book 1 was about Truth, and I used Antiques as a consistent metaphor. Book 2 had no metaphor to cement it together. Art! Nothing speaks more about dreams than art. And now I have to reimagine my plot and update my outline, and I should be back on track.
Nothing speaks more about dreams than art.
But what does that mean?
I write thematically. Every story has meaning I can sink my teeth into. Book 1: Bell of the True Dragon is thematically about the struggle between the Truth deep inside ourselves and all of the pressures we face — internally and externally — to suppress it. Antiques are used as a metaphor for that. Every antique is a combination of the its physical attributes, it's known history (provenance), and its actual history. Ricardo is an antique dealer. May owns her mother antique collection. Scenes take place in an auction house. Secrets of the various MacGuffins — especially the Bell — hold the key to everything in the story. Like an antique, a person is their physical selves, the selves that the world believes them to be and insists they conform to (whether accurate or not), and the Truth inside them that they may even hide from themselves. It's not even subtle, really.
Book 2 is about dreams. When I first plotted that out, I thought I knew what I meant that to be. I had individual arcs laid out, but not a metaphor that would connect them like antiques. And I can't believe I forgot about that. So, I am selecting Art. I know way too much about art and art history and the various art industries and art collections, etc. So, this will be an easy an integral cement holding the entire story together. Dreams inspire art, art inspires dreams, even the monetary value of art as collectibles inspires a kind of dream in those who prefer it.
This is going to be fun. Yay me!