Sunday, May 9, 2010

Exile Chapter 14 rewrites

I've finished the second draft of Exile Chapter 14 and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

This chapter has almost been completely rewritten from scratch. Perhaps 20% of the original chapter remains with 80% being new material. There is a lot more description of the surroundings as they make their way up to the ruins where the Wizard resides, as well as a lot of new dialog. Most of the new material centers around Mal's trust issues, and a little of Silmera's back story. We get to see a little of what has shaped her into the person she is today. What I want to do with this draft is really play up the trust issues that Mal has with Silmera, ending in him finally realizing that he loves her right as she's taken from him. I think this is a far more realistic way of doing things than the way I had them in the first draft. Of course there are many significant changes that will have to be made throughout the second draft to account for this new focus I'm putting into their relationship.

Something I'm really trying to focus on in this draft is emotion, because all of the characters in the first draft were rather wooden and one dimensional. In my mind these are real people with real pasts and real feelings, but conveying that into writing is harder than you might think. I want these characters to be as real to someone who reads about them as they are in my imagination, but no matter how I write it, I fear I'll always fall short. Still, I do my best, and in this draft I'm working very hard to make these characters come to life, with their own seperate and disctict personalities and motives. That was something that was lacking, for the most part, in the first draft.

In writing classes you are taught that there are three main things that a story must have to make it worth reading. First is an original plot. Second is likeable, distinct, and well developed characters. Third is clear and simple writing that is easy for the reader to understand. I think I'm doing much better this time around on all three of those points than I did with the first draft, and it really shows in the difference in word counts so far. I've added nearly 25% to the word count so far and I'm barely coming to the half way point in the first draft.

The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 144,920 words, which is a 27,568 word difference between the two drafts. 27.5k words is the equivilant of about 45 single spaced pages at 12 point font.

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