I've finished with the second draft of Exile Chapter 19 and it can be downloaded at the bottom of this page .
This is another chapter that is new to draft 2. The part where Silmera tells Mal about how his mother died did appear in the first draft, though in a way and atmosphere very different from the way it is here. It's different enough that I can say that this entire chapter is new material. The reason for adding this chapter is that the death of Mal's Father is a very important event in his life. It is part of what shapes him into the man he will become, and in the original draft I just sort of glossed over it like it was nothing. Also, Mal needed to hear from his father that his father lied to him in order to be able to forgive Silmera. He still does not trust her completely, but he has forgiven her. And on top of that I needed to begin building for more future changes in the story between the two drafts, namely that Mal is to marry Lilia rather than Silmera, which makes a heck of a lot more sense when you think about it. This chapter makes some very significant changes in the storyline from the first draft, and better ties in this part with what is happening in the next chapter.
Also, in this chapter you see the beginnings of the strength that Mal will show in the end. In the first draft he was basically a total pussy that did everything everyone else wanted him to, and believed everything they said without question, then all of a suddenly showed a backbone when it suited the plot. In this draft you will see that he always had the strength to stand up to the situation and take charge and only allows things to beat him down because it's the only way he knows how to deal with his anger, bottle it up and go with the flow until he finally explodes in the end. This is a much more realistic protrayal of how someone in his position would act, and for the story to be anything resembling presentability this chapter, showing Mal's inner self, was very needed. He's actually physically suffering over the news that he's Cursed, and over his father's death, and over being lied to by not only someone he thought was his friend, but his father as well, the very person who taught him never to lie. He's ashamed of how he can't do anything to alter his situation, and people are making big life decisions for him like he doesn't have the mental capacity to do it himself. He may just grin and bear it on the outside, but inside the pressure is building up, and eventually it's going to explode. None of that really came out in the first draft, which makes for a rather boring story.
And last of all, you might have noticed that this chapter is chapter 19. The first draft only had 18 chapters total, but I am barely halfway through with the second draft. You might be wondering what gives. Well, the simple answer is this. The chapters of this story were HUGE to begin with, and when I began to add text to them they became even bigger. Many of them needed to be cut, so I started making splits when there were breaks in the story. I have just completed what was chapter 7 of the first draft with chapter 19 of the second draft.
The first draft of this story ended at 117,352 words.
The second draft is currently at 164,893 words, which is a difference of 47,500ish words. To put that in perspective 47.5k words is the equivilant of 78 single spaced pages in 12 point font, and about the length of a typical novella. In a side by side comparison these two drafts look very very different from each other. Friends and family that have read both agree wholeheartedly that the changes have been greatly for the better.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
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