Usually, when I'm getting so close that I can SEE it, caltrops couldn't stop me from finishing this thing. But this has been a LONG SLOG. And I let myself get distracted with a side project. And then there's the project that I should actually be working on. (And school - but forget school). So, essentially... I've got problems. But this book, now THIS BOOK. It should be beautiful, and it's a mess.
I went and found my love list for this book - or my list of themes or something:
Think Howl, by Florence + the Machine. Think dark fairies and werewolves and evil science. Think Cinderella + Little Red Riding Hood all smashed together, where the prince is actually the wolf.
Only that's the problem, you see. Because my wolf-prince is being PATHETIC.
Cinderella's doing well. Her life's falling apart. She's nearly dying for like the sixteenth time. She is completely miserable.
Wolf-prince, however, she's not so desperate. Technically, her brother/father/lover figure has just told her that he was planning on using her body and sticking someone else's mind in there. She's lost her home, has decided to challenge someone way more powerful than her for lordship of the fief. Her brother is burning everything of hers that he can find. So she's upset and scared and off balance and angry - and then goes and drinks tea with a nice lady.
WRONG! WRONG I SAY!
This isn't good enough. I keep on making sure she has baths and enough to eat when she should be RUNNING FOR HER LIFE. She should go get Cinderella because there's no one else - even though it's drawing her brother to them.
THIS IS THE LAST PART OF THE BOOK.
If wolf-prince isn't miserable now, when is she going to be? If she's chirpy and happy, meeting her mom, making out with people, being kind of annoyed - it isn't good enough! And the thing is, Cinderella NEVER CATCHES A BREAK. She's always losing people, upsetting her dad, breaking her ex-boyfriend's heart. Wolf-prince doesn't have a lot to lose, except her life, and yet her life is never in danger. Where is evil brother? Why hasn't he tried to attack her directly?
She needs to get hurt. She needs to escape by the skin of her teeth. She needs to KNOW DESPAIR.
So that when she says, "No," to Cinderella, "I'm not using you. You need to go and stay gone. Stay out of here. I might die, but I won't drag you down with me." and lets her go, saying 'don't bring me that one thing that might actually let me defeat my brother' it rings true. And then when she turns around and says, to her evil brother, "No, I'm ready now. Take me and put your dead girlfriend in my mind, take me and don't go after her. You win." it sounds right - and sad. But like something she would do. "I've nearly lost you enough times, you need your own life, that doesn't involve people who are after me trying to kill you."
Wolf-prince - you need to be there. And I know your girl is a woobie, but you don't have enough woobie cred. You get angry. But you've been a victim your whole life, and now the people you had just started to trust are turning on you - not just turning on you, hunting you. What are you going to do about that?
Go for it.
Then get scared, bleed, and run.