So today I’m working on a story that originally started out as a short story, but quickly turned itself into a short novel.  No, that’s not true.  It started as a scrap picture from a high school dance my sister went to several years ago.  I carried the tale around in my head for a while, but never got around to actually writing it down. It doesn’t end well.  I figured for a first novel I might go with something a little more traditional, and then work up to this one.  That is if you call a story about Elves, Sasquatch, and gypsies typical.  (Which I do.)

Once I sat down to start writing this one, though, it decided all on its own that it wanted to be a longer story.  So I’m thinking, once finished, it could be one of those nice 200-250 pg novels you pick up and read through in a couple of days.  But we’ll see.  My plans for length often end up far short of the finished product.

So today when I was writing it I started to do some research for the thing the mystical woman could give to the troubled teen, to help him out along the way.  But it needed to be symbolic, even if you never bothered to look up the symbolism.  Well, after searching for a while and not finding anything, I finally stumbled across a whole new angle for my mystic.  It’s good, and I like it, but once again I have the same problem staring me in the face: how much is too much to reveal?

On the one hand, I write Young Adult Fiction.  Younger readers are not stupid, by any means, but they’re definitely not as well versed in mythology and ancient literature.  So I could afford to be a bit more obvious, and assume that while some of the clues will be missed, the easier ones will be picked up on.

On the other hand, I’m the kind of writer who never likes to give anything away.  I don’t like to tell you what I’m working on while I’m working on it (you’ll notice I gave very few details here), and I don’t want the layering to be too obvious.  Obvious is easy.  Better to be too deep than to be too easy.  (Remember this girls, it will be on the final exam!)

Then again, if it’s only going to be a 200 page book, how much subterfuge do I really need?  Especially when the mystic isn’t the point of the story, the kid is.  She’s more of a secondary character.  So I guess I could afford to be a little more open, right?  Probably.  Besides, it isn’t like the mythology I’m referencing is one of the most commonly used ones, so I’ll probably be fine.  Then again, I’ll let you know whenever I get around to the second draft.  As Hemingway once so eloquently put it: The first draft of anything is s***.

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