Friday, September 16, 2011

Change

[slightly edited re-post from former blog]



The subject of change in writing, more specifically in story ideas, is something that has been bouncing around in my mind a lot for the past week or so.

Why? Because I had an idea. A dangerous idea. The last book in the Arindraen Series, Honor, is one I never got so excited about that I couldn’t stop thinking about it for more than an hour and couldn’t keep my hands off of it for more than two days.
I like it, yes. But it’s not finished; I haven’t touched it in several months (partially due to the OYAN contest deadline, but still). I’m 52,000 words into it and I am not in love with the storyline.
That is not a good thing! If I don’t love it, chances are, it won’t impact my readers as much. If I don’t love it, will I really dedicate the necessary hours and brainspace needed to finish it–and give it my best?

My dangerous idea is to start over with that book. Instead of doing it in multiple 3rd person PoV’s, I am entertaining the thought of hacking it down to the PoVs of my two favorite characters in the book, Teague Sparhauoc and Morwen (who shall someday get her own post because I like her so much), and change it to 1st Person, and make several plot changes. Which is really quite scary! I don’t want to start over! There are a few scences I really, really love that I wouldn’t be able to keep because they are from the PoV’s of more minor characters. There are plot bugs that would arise–details, hints, clues (it’s a mystery/adventure), that could be very hard to work in.

For all I know, changing PoVs might ruin it.

So why am I even considering it?

Because it just might save the story instead of destroying it; it could give it the power-jump it needs to excel from mediocracy to a satisfying last-book-of-the-series.
I love the Arindraen Series. It is my “maiden voyage” into dedicated fiction writing. Called was my baby for the longest time, and still is, in a way, but now I look back and see things I could have done better.
Plague of Darkness is my special pet, and I think it’ll always be extra-special to me for a number of reasons.
Fate by Proxy has a lot of issues that need straightened out, but I love the characters in it.
And Honor? I love a lot of the characters and a lot of the scences. But overall, on the actual book, it isn’t one that has been very hard for me to push onto the back burner. It feels rambling in spots. There are time-jumps and filler material that are awkward and need cut.
But the gems in the story are Teague and Morwen. I think that needs emphasized. At first I thought it was Teague, Christian, and Tori’s story. But I think I am starting to realize that, really, it’s Teague and Morwen’s story. I’m still not sure; I need to think on it some more and go over what I have written so far. And I need to stop feeling scared!

So why am I writing this?

Because of change.

Changing huge things in story ideas and books is scary. I dislike intensive editing because it often involves cutting and/or rewriting entire scenes. That kills!

But it’s good. It improves your skills and your book.

So do what I need to teach myself to do–-if you need to make a change, do it. Jump in with both feet, fearless, and ready to go (but save original copies!). Don’t do what I’m doing…dancing around the problem. Tackle it. Take a chisel and a polishing stone to that hunky rock of a manuscript and find the gemstones hidden underneath all the dull, excess stone. Listen to that annoying little voice in your head that tells you “Something just isn’t right here”, and, if you’re like me and have writer-friends that will tell you when something isn’t up to your normal par, listen to them. They have nowhere near the same attatchment level to your manuscript that you do and can, a lot of the time, find the problems that we can’t.

Then go, make the painful, necessary changes, and turn your work into the amazing story that it’s meant to be!

Chazak,

- Hannah


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