Audience feedback we received from our smaller, printed version of ‘Casanova in Paris’ suggested that we hadn’t given enough attention to cliff-hangers (a term which we loosely use to mean a moment of dramatic interest, not necessarily always a moment of suspense). There were dangers, however, in simply shoe-horning in new cliff-hangers: they might appear contrived; they could unsettle the established narrative structure of the story; they could become a bit predictable and clichéd. We used a couple of approaches to resolve the issue and, as is often the case, this stimulated new thoughts and ideas which we feel benefitted the novel as a whole.
First of all, we had already decided to divide our on-line version into chapters, unlike the printed version. This allowed us the opportunity to break up the material at points of dramatic interest (a killing, a threat, a revelation etc). Where that wasn’t feasible without creating a chapter that was far too short or too long, there was also the possibility of shuffling around the original order of sequences within a chapter.
Secondly, new material. Publishing the novel on-line gave us flexibility in terms of adding content and we took advantage of this by developing characters and aspects of the story which enabled the inclusion of more cliff-hanger moments. We decided, for example, to demonstrate the Southerner in action more frequently. Another example is the addition of two dream sequences. In part 2 (still in the process of development, by the way), the search for ways of adding suspense spurred us on to develop the character of Guillaime in a direction that we hadn’t previously considered (and, in fact, how that particular idea is going to work its way out we don’t yet know.)
‘The Prologue’, and chapters 1 and 2 of ‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ are now freely available here.
6 long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.
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