Monday, September 01, 2008

Rani and Karen - Together Again for the First Time

So are you done?
Rani asks.

I'm a bit surprised. Unlike Ariel and Kate, none of the Mâvarin characters have ever spoken to me before. But if there's one person from Mâvarin who would find a way to communicate with a world in which he exists only as words and pictures and a 34-year obsession, it's Rani. He's not here. I don't see him. But his words are alive in my mind, and after a moment I answer.


With your book. Have you settled on every word I say, killed all the clichés, made everything make sense? Are you done?

"I think so."

But you're not sure, are you?

"Pretty sure. I've tweaked that one bit with Barselti, and I've reached the end, and gotten the final word count."

And you're still worried that the dialogue with King Jor at the end is too pat, and you're tempted to go through the book once more, from the beginning. Well, don't.

"What if there's still stuff wrong, and I can fix it?"

What if you let your own insecurities keep you from marketing and selling your life's work, ever? It will never be perfect, because your subjective opinion will never let that happen.

"But is it good enough for a YA publisher?

How should I know? I'm a tengrem and a mage adept, not a literary agent. But I do know something about insecurity. You need to get over it.

"It shows, huh?"

Inside your head it's very clear.

"If you're inside my head, does that mean you know everything that's in the book?"

I know it's about us. The so-called Heroes of the Restoration. And I know which bits of it worry you. Why?

"Can you tell me if I got everything right?"


"Why not?"

First of all, I don't have the time or patience. Second, it doesn't matter whether your book matches my life exactly. Maybe it matches some other Rani's life. Or maybe I was drawn into your head because the match is exact, but it still doesn't matter. It only matters whether it's a good book, and I can't help you with that. And finally, what makes you think the version of me taking in your head is any more real than the one on the page?

"So that's it? You're just here to badger me to stop tinkering and submit it?"

Pretty much. I was also curious about you.

"About me? Why?"

I dreamed someone was writing about us, and it wasn't someone from around here. I wondered why someone from another reality would know about us, or care. Now I know.

"What do you know?"

You just happened to latch onto events from a reality so far away that you can only deal with it as fiction. It's like Fayubi and his visions.

"Only less useful."

If you sell the books, it was worth it. So get to it.

"I'll try."

No. Don't just try. Do it.

"I hate when people say things like that."

I hear Rani's laughter in my mind. Yes, I know.

Heirs of Mâvarin: done and edited. The other books are ongoing. My next step, I decide, is to start researching the YA market, and get it out there.

Good, Rani tells me, and is gone.