Writing about my writing always enables me so....
Problems have emerged as I've edited, expanded and edited "True Being." First, Ian is confused.
Ian is the protagonist. He begins as a college student and ends up returning to his roots -- his true being (see how that ties in to the title)? My problems arise with what does he know and when does he know it?
He begins recalling his true existence after his mother calls, tells him he's adopted and hangs up. Her comment tickles memory. I think I let Ian embrace it too quickly and easily; there isn't any reason why he would accept it, and he wouldn't know the truth that quickly because he wouldn't want to know the truth. He's now 20. He's lived as a human, hiding his true self for 20 years, re-inforcing his concept of his human self and human life. He has no reason to question his humanity at that first comment by his mother. In fact, he's always avoided wondering if he's really human or anything that may smack of those matters (which, ahah! is why he doesn't like science fiction, fantasy, and video games involving aliens, and explains why he has this strange, eclectic group of friends -- and that helps me more understand his relationship with them. I've never realized how strange they must be in order to be his friends.) Instead of accepting it and saying, yes, that's half true but how does she know, he should be saying, I'm what? What do you mean, Mom?
Later, after his exposure to the mysterious red light of Moffett Field, memories begin a slow percolation, starting with, yes, Mom is right, I wasn't born to her. Then, later, it should be, yes, Mom is right, I'm not born to her but I'm not adopted, either. Yes, I've rushed this revelation too much -- maybe an urge to present a dramatic revelation at the cost of tension, pacing and psychology.
When he later returns to the affected zone, he still doesn't know but conviction is growing. I hold true to that as he allows himself to think about who he is and remember and begin accepting, I have to return to my roots and true self.
I have to sharpen some of Ian's negative traits, too. He worked hard to create himself as a perfect son for his mother (and to a lessor extent, his father; he fell in love with her but he tolerates him) but that causes other issues. Ian dated, made friends, and engaged in activities to please his mother (exactly why he bonded with his father) but he's not a true human and doesn't easily accept human company. He's not warm and caring, and in fact, doesn't really like most people. I need to capture that personality facet.
In related issues, I realized the 'shutting down the bay area' provide greater complications. I thought of the highways but not to the full extent I should have until I plotted Ian's return using Google maps. But the power grid and gas transmissions lines would also cause issues that need to be addressed. The duality of humanity's reactions (caused by their 'original sources') would complicate acceptance and response to banking and stocking issues. 'True' humans may not be able to see and comprehend what's going on in Bay Area but they do know they're inconvenienced and they will be frustrated by impacts on their plans and lives.
Now that I've thought that out, how do I massage it into the story?
The other issue bugging me on the reader level are his friends' motivations for going into the affected area when he returns. They're too accomodating.
Looks like I have some editing and revising to do. I think I'll approach this by printing it out to re-orient myself (sorry but I think it imperative to see words on paper when editing larger pieces). Take a break for a day or two? Tempting...not certain yet. Other stories are calling me but I like how deep I am into this novel's characters and story. I'll think on it as I walk home.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com