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Storytelling is a talent passed down through the generations in my family. It is a way of life in that the more you live, the better the story; the deeper the experience, the broader the plain to connect with readers. Just like life is about people so writing is about people - about their love, their loss, their triumphs, their failures, and their x ever after. I write to understand myself and make sense of life. I share my work in order to find others who can relate to my characters, or their lives, or the moral of the story.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Revision: And so it begins.

Listening to: Hero - Skillet
Mood: Can't-think-straight-tired
Reading: Demon in my View by... can't remember author name.
Writing: Shadow Legacy

I have, at long last, taken the actual plunge into revision.
I'm on page 7 of my 112 page novel. My previous attempt at 'revising' it was a complete bugger because I had started to rewrite it from scratch.
Without a solid plot outline drafted up to guide me along a rewrite, a rewrite is not going to happen. I'm supposed to be revising it, anyway, not rewriting the whole manuscript.

So! Let me tell you a little bit about Shadow Legacy.
I first wrote it back in 2005-2006. I'm not entirely sure which year I wrote it, but I did write it within a week. I think I might have blogged about it before. If you're a writer, you can imagine what I've got on my hands here. Revising a first draft of 38, 500 words is not an easy feat.

It's a young adult supernatural romance, starring a set of eighteen year old twins, Haley and Amber. Haley was lured into a different realm where she fell prey to creatures of the dark. She was first going to lose a few toes, an ear, and some other body parts after a witch snatched her up, but she caught the eye of a vampire (yes, I'm aware that I stated before that I will never write vampires, but there is also a first time for everything) who 'rescued' her from the witch. Why she caught the eye of the vampire, I'm not too sure yet. Another creature of the dark in one of my scenes laughs at her when she demands to know why specifically she was targetted, and tells her 'Such arrogance. You don't really think there's any special reason why we chose you, do you? Any other human would have been good enough. You just happened to be in the right place at the right time.'

But I'm not sure whether this creature was bluffing and purposely trying to play with her head, or whether it was speaking the truth, since I haven't elaborated on the scene or know when or where exactly it will fit into the story.

The only reason why Haley survives in their world is because of her guardian. I'm not putting a label to it other than guardian, so it can be a familiar or a shade or an angel, whatever the reader choses to believe. Her guardian has the ability to shift from human form into wolf form. No, he's not a werewolf; he's invisible in her world, but in the dark realm he can manifest in these forms. I chose a wolf for his other form because I'm a dog person, dog is man's best friend, they're loyal to their owners, they're guardians of sorts (guard dogs, get it?) and wolves are territorial by nature. All these qualities factor into his character. I might have thought a name up for him before, I'm not sure because I haven't actually written him yet.

This is all backstory, though. Whether I'll incorporate it into the actual book remains to be seen. As it is, the story starts off with Haley wanting to go to sleep as soon as the sun is up. It introduces her and Amber, their relationship with one another, and the initial conflict that exists between them.

I will need to make a note to get that conflict resolved by the end of the story.

Nothing much has really happened in the first 7 pages. Aside from a phonecall for Amber, an argument between the sisters, and Haley reflecting vaguely on her past for the purpose of informing the reader, there's not much else going on. I've already revised certain details, like turning the sixteen year olds into eighteen year olds, giving them more dialogue, and changing the matter of Haley lounging in her backyard for the day to her sleeping instead. The part where she reflects on past events might get cut, if I decide to start the story off where she's lured to this dark realm, because then there would be no point in mentioning it.

There is a lot of work ahead of me. The story is written in third person narrative from Haley's point of view, yet later on, if I recall, the point of view jumps to Jeremy (the male lead) when Haley gets sucked back into the dark realm, to Amber, and back and forth like that until Haley comes back onto the scene. I haven't actually written the parts where Haley is in this dark realm. It's a concept I still need to explore and flesh out a bit. I wrote the story, believe it or not, without my female lead. Amber is more of a secondary character than a lead, so I'll be putting her in her place and following Haley all over the show.

I prefer to stick to one character's point of view. Sure, as a writer, it's really easy to jump from character to character, and I can make it work. But as a reader, I've always preferred to stick to a single character throughout a story. Consistency is key to prevent confusion.

Besides, I've always said that I want to write that book that I haven't found yet.

My first task of revision is to pick places where my writing can be clearer, more interesting, more informative and more convincing. Yep. I'm leaving the descriptive part of my writing for the final draft.

Note: some of what I've said in this blog might actually turn out to be nul in void since I'm simply revising the novel from page 1 without having read through the entire manuscript again.

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