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Archive for June, 2011

My first two books (not counting the thing under the bed that we don’t talk about) have been on the shelf for a while, now. I’ve known that they needed a complete rewrite, especially the first. The problems are too numerous even to list here. It should have been young adult all along, but I didn’t realize that. The pacing is way off. There are far too many characters. It got over-edited. Well, let’s face it, those are the books on which I made most of my beginner mistakes.

But I haven’t given up on them. The world I created for that series (which was originally supposed to be four books) is very complex. You can get a glimpse of it in most of the entries under Worlds on this blog. I like the premise. I like the theme that developed out of the stories (not the other way around). And I think I have something to say in those stories.

For a while, now, I’ve been trying not to think too much about those stories so that when I come back to them for a rewrite I can start fresh. Occasionally, an idea will bubble up from my subconscious and I’ll jot it down for later use. Some of them were interesting, but none of them quite worked. Well, yesterday an idea came up that I think is the one.

It’ll start the story much earlier and transform at least the first books into middle grade. I think that actually works well for this story. In doing that, it’ll also break the story into more pieces. That part, I still have to work out. One thing I won’t compromise is my preference that each book, even in a series, be able to stand on its own. That’s okay, it’s just a matter of properly defining the central conflict.

I’ve even got a tentative new title. (This was one of the ones that I alwas hated the title for.)

I’m really getting excited about this idea. Now, I’m not sure whether July will see me starting this one or THE BARD’S GIFT. Maybe this one while I continue to research THE BARD’S GIFT.

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 . . . you set up what kind of story you’re going to tell.

That’s a problem I’ve been having in particular with DREAMER’S ROSE. The story just isn’t everything I want it to be. Either I’m trying for too much or I’m emphasizing the wrong part of the story. Or maybe I’m all wet and just don’t have a clue. It’s possible. Wouldn’t even be the first time. That last isn’t very helpful, though, so I’ll concentrate on the other two possibilities.

So recently I’ve been passing different possible starting points by one of my writer’s groups. This month, they have the last of the four.

  1. The first failed utterly. Nobody felt they could connect with the character. Well, that explains why my last draft failed. (It’s the place I’d started the story on the last pass.)
  2. The second was flawed, but better. It could be a bit confusing starting with the antagonist, though.
  3. The third has so far been the hand’s down favorite, although it clearly still needs work. That sets the beginning of the story back to a much earlier place.
  4. The jury’s still out on the fourth. That one pushed the beginning further into the story. (It’s also the closest to where I actually started when I first began this particular story as a short story that grew into a novella that turned into a novel.)

I’m hoping that the feedback on the best place to start will help me figure out what I need to emphasize and what I should jettison to make this story be what I know it can be.

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