When in doubt, go to the master. In this case, I consulted Neil Gaiman’s Magnificent Oracular Journal, and put some questions to him:
1) Will Crude Sunlight be published by the company I work at?
Answer: Welcome to Neil Gaiman’s (post American Gods) Journal.
Hmm. I tried a different tack:
2) Will this editor I’ve come to know decently well be interested in publishing my book?
Answer: It’s been great having Bissette and Hank here.
I scratched my head over this one, and decided that this serious instrument of divination could not concern itself with such paltry things as money and publishing. Therefor, I broached more serious issues:
3) What is the correct manner to handle the final confrontation between Thomas and Father Timmons?
Answer:Many interviews followed, and a mass press conference.
Now that’s interesting. I hadn’t even considered that route. Thomas goes public on the whole affair, brings along a host of reporters, and sets up a mass-ambush conference for the finale. Has potential.
4) Won’t bringing in reporters and such make the finale a bit… silly?
Answer:It was meant to have ghosts in, and they never quite made it, and I don’t think the Blakean illumination I was going for really illuminated.
Huh. That’s my second draft he’s referring to, I’m guessing, and while I would hesitate to call them ‘ghosts’, that’s a fair appellation. And the general referendum definitely was that the final ‘illumination’ as Neil so artfully puts it did not really illuminate. So cut… the ghosts… and find a new ending altogether? One with more media figures? Make the villains… more tangible… and wrap it up in a funkier style?
5) Well, if I can’t have ghosts, then what should the bad guys be?
Answer:Interestingly, the Christian reviews I’ve seen so far — Christianity Today and the Catholic News Service — both liked the film, and were very sensible.
Well, that’s good, I guess it’s a good thing the Christian reviews are positive on it, but I already got that sense from Emilio. Come on now, stay on topic. Sounds like you’re ducking the question.
6) No, really. What should they be?
Answer:There’s no compelling reason (that I can see) to own a Kindle device.
This one gave me pause. A Kindle device. That must be a metaphor in this context. A futuristic evolution in the way we receive information. There is no need to invent something new. Stick with the tried and true. So… no need to invent these new ‘ghosts’ of mine. Stick to the… the mundane. The regular. Just make them regular people, I suppose? Isn’t that… a little boring?
7) Yeah, isn’t that a little boring?
Answer:And the car to take me to the airport is outside, and I’m not yet dressed, so I will take my leave, vaguely regretful that I haven’t done a big post on the writers’ strike yet.
Well, I suppose that’s the end of this session. Though I’m not quite on strike, I’m waiting for all the responses to come in, which isn’t quite the same thing, not really. But fair enough, the man’s got to go, and I won’t keep him any further. He definitely gave me some tantalizing pieces of advice, which I think, if I read them correctly, can be summarized as get rid of the ghosts, and end it with a big old press conference.
Huh. I’ll think on it.