The following is the original CHAPTER ONE of the novel as edited by Kendra Guidolin. As is stands, this novel is 1500 pages (and I still have some chapters left to write), so it’s in desperate need of a trim! I couldn’t manage to get Kendra’s side-notes in on my screenshots of the pages, but you do have here, by way of the red lines, Kendra’s suggestions at what can be axed to tighten up the narrative. I’ve also included her additional notes at the end of her editing work on this chapter.
- I think we need more from Aubrey immediately, what resonates with her in the last moments of her life to sit down and write a memoir of the length she does; does she start months, weeks, days before she’s contemplating the end? What prompts this end? Is there something immediately we should have hinted at us before getting too far into her family background? Might give the audience and Phil something to hold onto before delving further; would give the layers of history more context, and would place the stakes higher for Phil to find out what happened in her ancestors’ past that makes this story so important/ compelling.
- Maybe even start from Aubrey’s perspective, or more direct lines that connect her trains of thought to the police
- More direction from Aubrey will also frame the narratives easier, as the piece delves quite quickly and jarringly from one space to another, and I think Aubrey’s voice is what’s missing to bridge the gap between Phil’s narrative and George’s.
- Question: do we want to have Aubrey interject throughout? It might bring the reader back into the mindspace a few times to remind them it’s from her perspective–might remind them that it’s truly her narrative, and might give context as to why they should continue reading.
Thank you again for this! Wonderful to revisit the beginning of the tale and see how far Phil’s come from the beginning!