Friday, February 20, 2015

So I'm Rewriting a Novel...

The Land Beyond the Portal, my first published novel, is actually the second novel I ever completed. (At some point after I'd started writing it, I put it away for a few years and wrote a novel about shapeshifting lizard aliens called Solorthians. It is unlikely, for reasons needless to state, that this novel will ever see the light of day.)

Back to The Land Beyond the Portal. I finished the first draft in 2010. It was released in 2011. In 2012 I poured my heart out writing Rage's Echo, and while I did so I noticed that a profound change had taken place in my writing.

Fast forward to 2015. I knew it was time to redo The Land Beyond the Portal, quite simply because the writing itself was weaker than it is currently. I'm more than 10% of the way through the first draft of the rewrite, and I thought I'd share some of the differences with you to help illustrate what I mean.

Original version

She needed some medicine for the pounding headache she had developed within the past few nerve-racking hours and started up the steps to the second-floor bathroom, where such items were kept. When she was halfway down the hallway, she heard her cell phone ringing in the living room. Her heart pounded even harder. They were finally calling her back! The teenager wondered for the thousandth time why her grandparents didn't have their own phone and raced back down the steps, not looking where she was going. She tripped over her grandfather's pair of house slippers, tumbled down five steps, and landed headfirst on the slate floor below with a sickening thud. This was met with blinding pain and abrupt darkness. She was falling, falling...

Rewritten version:

The headache pounding behind her eyes was getting out of hand. She threw a glance at the satellite clock on the fireplace mantel, sent up a prayer that someone would call her soon, and hurried up the stairs to the second-floor bathroom, where her grandmother kept what she called her “pharmacy” inside the mirrored medicine cabinet.

Her cell phone started ringing the moment she reached the top of the stairs. Her heart in her throat, she made an about-face and raced back down the stairs so fast that her feet became tangled with each other and she lost her footing on the wooden risers.

The last thing she remembered was flailing for a handhold, and then her head made contact with the hardwood floor below, sending her into abrupt darkness.

So yeah...this is what I've been doing while working on Surrender: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 3 as well as revising Sacrifice: The Chronicles of Servitude Book 2. It's funny; I never knew that I could juggle.


  1. Whoa. The difference in paragraph structure alone is pretty crazy and way more readable, but the writing itself improves exponentially.

    Don't you love how writing always develops and changes? Actually, sometimes I don't. But I love that there's always a chance to improve!

    1. Yes! I'm always learning and always seeking ways to improve. I cut a huge chunk of the first chapter because it just dragged, and I'll probably end up expanding on some other scenes. I feel like I'm remodeling a house, or something.