These last few weeks I’ve buckled down and been working through a draft of my novel, Stonebearer’s Betrayal. I’ve finally reached the phase where the story has taken its final shape and now it’s a matter of making all the scenes agree. I’ve changed so many things that the current story looks and feels nothing like the original, and that’s a good thing. When I started writing I didn’t know anything about how to write a book, I only knew that I wanted to. The more I learned about the craft resulted in more things that needed to be fixed and improved. Awkward story ideas were explored and straightened out to be clearer. Cryptic characters were forced to reveal their secrets. I’ve taken this strange blob of ideas and turned it into a compelling tale of love and loss, and a little magic to make things interesting.
Looking back, I was unduly optimistic. I was convinced that I’d be finished in about a year and the book would be a runaway success. That was nearly five years ago. I’m a different person now than I was then.
I’m now working on a series of new scenes in the beginning of the book that will help support the middle and end of the book. A few months ago I didn’t realize that by switching the role of one of the characters I’d be creating a whole new story line that would need to be woven into the existing story. It took weeks to figure out how I could make it work without destroying the integrity of the earlier story. It was such a relief to finally find a way to blend the new idea in with the old that I feel like I have a complete story once again, instead of a broken one.
The shift also solved several different problems that had bothered me. The way the story was originally engineered it required a prologue, and prologues are generally frowned upon for new writers – mainly because they are boring and unnecessary. When I shifted the story around to accommodate the new ideas, I also shifted the viewpoint character which turned the prologue into chapter one.
The new viewpoint character also made the story more accessible to readers. The original viewpoint characters were all immortal magic users and I worried that my readers would have a hard time making emotional connections to them. The new story is now seen in part through the eyes of a teenage boy who still has a lot to learn about the world around him.
In short, I’m excited to be making significant progress on the book and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a real possibility that I can start approaching agents/publishers this year and finally be able to get my story out into the world. I hope that readers like it as much as I do!