I made my way through “Chapter 7—Haliton,” of “Tishta the Crystal Orb.” That took longer than I expected. Well, I was sick the last two weeks, so that slowed me down a bit, and I was focused on other parts of my life, as well. The editing and rewriting actually went pretty well—I feel good with the results.
Along the way, I added more to the story of The Others, including introductory scenes that named the characters in chapters three and six. In the original draft, I attempted to make them more mysterious by only giving tiny flashes into what they were doing, to put some of the events in the main story in context, and I didn’t identify them by name until later in the book. My editor, Anne Bean, found this jarring and wanted more information sooner, to make them less confusing and also to build more tension as their objectives became more clear.
By telling more of the antagonists’ stories, I found a way to introduce conflict into the ranks of The Others by introducing more of them in this book, instead of waiting until “Into the Wolf Dream.” In the second scene of “Chapter 2—The Gathering,” Malcan tells the story of where Tishta came from. In it, The Others are described as, “…like Kahl, aggressive and full of self-interest.” In the same chapter, I insinuate Criften’s distrust of The Council (who govern the wizards in the West). By adding another minor story arc, I was able to show that The Others don’t play well together, either. I think this will work well as the story progresses.
Some of the rework of this chapter revolved around the introduction of the second story arc for The Others. I may need to add another scene from the perspective of these new players, but I won’t be sure until I’m into the next chapter. Move forward. Go back and fill in details. I can see how this editing is going to progress.
The other work was mostly around clarifying and enhancing existing scenes, and combining some of them. This included a bit of rework in places where I told the story instead of showing it through action or dialog. I wrote about this in “Lessons from the Fledgling Author: Show Your Story, Don’t Tell It.” One of the nice things I’ve discovered when I do these types of edits is that it helps flesh out the characters. I was able to show that Gillan is the leader of the warriors—she takes control of the planning and tells the others what she expects of them. Gillan is badass and I need to show it. This is a good change for a character Anne had trouble understanding the purpose of in the first draft.
I’ve been working to include more description of my characters, especially the main ones. At the same time, I’m adding more about what my demons look like and how they come into being. I need to be careful with this since it might impact the “science” of demons in the following books.
This process is slow, but I’m enjoying it. As I’ve recorded the stories and listened to them—which I wrote about in “Lessons from the Fledgling Author: Listen to Your Own Writings“—I’m finding I like this revised story much better than the original draft. I’ve done a lot more writing since I wrote a lot of these scenes, and the changes I’m making reflect this. I’m a better writer, now. I’m excited to see how the rest of the book turns out.
Copyright ©2014-16 Ramona Ridgewell. All rights reserved.