Friday, January 28, 2011

OMG, Vivian, You Did What?!


I'm currently on page 167 of 266 of The Quest of Dai: The Eroe. I've basically rewritten everything up until now, because, wow... There is a lot of really, really bad writing in there. Everyone who liked it, I bow to you and love you from the bottom of my heart for being willing to read through all of my horrible errors. Some of it actually makes me cringe.

And, because I've already written and completed book two, and a draft of book three, going back in to book one and adding in all these little hints is pretty fun! Note to any future authors out there: NEVER PUBLISH BOOK ONE UNLESS YOU'RE POSITIVE YOU KNOW THE ENTIRE REST OF THE PLOT. I knew how book three was going to end, I knew the basic plot line, but since I'm not an outliner, I had no idea about the rest of it. So... Wow.

Also, the book was really long. Oh my gosh, it's so long. I go back through and read it and say, "Yep, I know what I was thinking there." (It's like a time capsule!) But it was, really, unnecessarily long. I put in a lot of things that were filler because I thought I needed them--but I didn't. Filler doesn't make a book good, y'all. Filler detracts from the main attraction! Sure, long books are the latest craze, but there's something to be said about not pulling your readers away from why they picked up the book to begin with.

As I mentioned, I'm about halfway through the book, and I've cut--brace yourselves--60 thousand words.

I'll give you a minute to digest that.

I cut SIXTY THOUSAND words from this book so far, and guess what? I've made it BETTER. Streamlined it like crazy. Improved the flow. Removed the tangents.

Oh, and Dai's character got a bit of a makeover. No more whining and feeling sorry for herself and throwing tantrums. I still see why I did it, and I still think I was right to do it, but frankly, her character doesn't work written like that. Dai needed a change--and with her change, came Westly's.

I think my heart is saddest about the change I put Westly through. He's still got that "badass" in his character, but the coldness that made Dai think he was going to kill her is gone. Why, you ask? Why would I shred one of my favorite characters of all time?

Because it didn't work for book two.

When I re-read book one, I was astonished. "They really hate each other," I said to my husband, stunned. "Book two can't work if they hate each other."

"It works," he argued. "It makes sense."

But it doesn't make sense. -_- It doesn't make sense because, well... I can't tell you. Just trust me on this one.

NOW. You're probably going, "Whoa, wait, hold up. You destroyed the book! How am I supposed to pick up with book two if you've completely rewritten book one?!"

But never fear. I left in all the major plot points. Everything you'll need to know for book two is still in book one (and a few extra hints to book three!). Plus, if you've read the summary for book two, you'll know that Dai's memory's been wiped. So you'll be just fine.

That being said...

If you happened to have liked The Eroe, and you were gracious enough to purchase it, I am going to do the right thing and SEND you a copy of the updated one. Free. Because I think you'll like this version better anyway. ;) All YOU have to do is e-mail me your address. But don't do it right now... It's not ready yet.

I still have that horrible backlog of books (that I regrettably still have NOT read), and I promise promise promise they are absolutely next on my to-do list as soon as I finish this manuscript. Right now I'm at kind of a break--one of those horrible "blocks" writers often speak of--where I'm trying to figure out what to do with Fiona.

Did anyone LIKE Fiona? Really? I toyed with the idea of writing her out altogether, but since she's pretty integral to the rest of the series, she stays. I just need to know what to do with her. I kinda just want to poke her with a stick until she goes away.

So, that's all for now. Sorry I haven't updated much, but it's literally been work-write-sleep for the last week. Somewhere in there I find the time to eat. Sometimes.

'til next time!