After an unexpectedly-long hiatus while I dealt with some family issues, I'm finally tackling the revisions on Spirits from the Vasty Deep! Taking it in a completely different direction; I originally thought it would require a rewrite of about 2/3 of the book, but I now think there will be very few recognizable sections from the earlier versions.
But one part that's coming back is the New Adult slant; Olivia was originally 19 years old, but was changed to a younger age to better fit the Young Adult mould on the advice of several agents. At the time, there wasn't really a New Adult market, but Olivia's happy to step back into her slightly more grownup shoes.
So today was spent nailing down some of the worldbuilding and voice, and I kind of like what I came up with this morning. It's sort of Olivia's own take on her gift/curse:
No matter how sincerely I try to tell a person that it is impossible for me to lie, it only serves to arouse their suspicions that I am a liar.
Unfortunately, also claiming I can communicate with the spirits only heightens these suspicions.
But however incredible they may sound, both statements are indeed true—two sides of the same coin in a deal brokered with Death. As my long-ago ancestor found, no dealings with Death are ever straightforward, and this talent of speaking for the dead comes with a price.
To prevent our own human nature corrupting Death’s gift by falsely delivering a message from the spirits, a Caller must always tell the truth. No matter if their own life hangs in the balance, a falsehood cannot pass lips that speak the secrets of the spiritworld.
It was my father’s good fortune to be blessed with a Caller child whose talents are even stronger than her late mother’s, but not to have to labor under the yoke of perpetual truthfulness himself. For him, it opened up a world of deceptions and trickery, cheats and rascalry. For me, it was a life of shame and regrets, late-night departures from the windows of unpaid hotel rooms under cover of the angry mutterings of the townspeople.
Only escaping from my father's reach entirely could save me. But how can I escape my father, when even death doesn't truly part us?