Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rewriting and expanding.

Okay, time for a writing progress update. I've been working on rewriting and expanding all the content that I've previously created for ALDEN RIDGE. Planning work for LUCIEN'S STORY has been on hold for a while, because I've just been so energized about my work in progress.

I have basically three reasons for undertaking this rewriting effort. First, I realized that I was underwriting in a major way in my earlier chapters. My later chapters naturally changed back into my normal, proper style, but my earlier chapters were written and paced like a thriller rather than like fantasy. You may recall that I initially thought I was writing a supernatural thriller, but now that I know I'm writing dark fantasy I had to go back and make some changes. Part of it was also just a knee-jerk reaction to being told by professional readers that I was overwriting in THE GUARDIAN. Even though I fixed that problem by my final draft, that fear of overwriting persisted into my work on ALDEN RIDGE, and the effect of that was not beneficial.

Secondly, and this is perhaps the most controversial reason for my rewrite, I'm switching from third limited to third omniscient. Oh, how decidedly un-trendy, right? Well, I have too many interlocking perspectives to be able to fit them all into isolated scenes. To properly show all the points of view that I want to show, in third limited I would have to make characters do a lot of thinking back and talking to each other about past events. This is obviously undesirable, while the nuances of the relationships are brought out especially well by having the interlocking perspectives that are possible with third omniscient. And if that style choice makes my book a little bit harder to market to agents and editors, well, then I'll just have to make the every other aspect of the writing that much more attractive. I've talked this idea over with an editor I know, and we've agreed that this is probably the best course of action for this specific book.

Lastly, I'm rewriting to add in a new sub-plot that I've recently come up with. It resolves my issues of not being entirely certain what to have Lela doing during the early parts of the book, which is important because she's always been vital to the later parts. Now I've finally figured out how to balance everything out so that she plays a continuously important role, just the same as Darrell and Elaine do.

Sometime soon, whenever I have a chance, I'll put the new version of my first chapter up on the website. I think it's one of the best things I've ever written, and I'll be very interested to see what you all think.

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