These are some very good notes, and i thank you both.
I don’t think I have any real talent for, or even any real interest in, writing historical fiction. But I’ve always loved Bach, always been interested in Baroque era music, and, once I started to see how this particular story might be told, I wanted to try to tell it.
Anyway. The first scene, the family scene, is basically just a transition, an introduction to the family, and a picture of Sebastian as a family man. But it could be more focused.
The scene with the Dukes needs to show, basically, the contentious working conditions for Sebastian, Wilhelm Ernst s growing dissatisfaction with him, and the conflict between the two co-reigning Dukes, particularly over the duties of their Concertmaster. All these things will inform what is to come. But, as you both noticed, I have the elder Ernst as kind of a stock villain, which he was not: he did hire Bach, did promote him, did compensate him well, and was able to appreciate his talent. He is just, now, getting bruised by, growing weary of, Sebastian’s independence.
But this scene seems, to me, particularly inert, and I see more, now, why: Stock, even corny, cliched characters. I have to try to learn how to make this better, especially with the minor characters, something like what Nate talks about. Also, I agree, it's too long.
The language. A lot of it sounds grating, even to me. My problem is that, right now, I don’t know
how they sound, so I settle into a kind of stilted diction. For example, I have Sebastian say, “If ever we need….” and this kind of stuff just sounds bad, sometimes even comically so. There‘s a balance here, as Mara suggests, a sound that I don’t have now, but should eventually be able to find. And it shouldn’t be all that hard. For example, I just changed a line, in an upcoming scene, from “I have never heard the like of it.” to “I’ve never heard anything like it.” Bingo, lol.
Anyway, I don’t think this bit is very good, but I am not disheartened. The good news is that it shouldn’t be prohibitively hard to make better, especially with the help of some attentive and thoughtful feedback.
So, thanks again.
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