And rewrite… Again!

I’ve finally put my finger on what it is that’s been bugging me about my latest fantasy novel. I’ve massaged the characters, changed some of the plot elements, refined the setting and it still wasn’t sitting right in my mind.

It was as I sat down to give the synopsis another read through this morning that it struck me. Having left it to one side for a couple of weeks whilst working on Project Ssh! (which is almost done now, thanks for asking) I realised what it was that was making me uncomfortable. The problem is, at a fundamental level, the story is the same as the one told in Malekith! The setting is completely different, the principles of the plot bear little resemblance to each other but the character journey described by the story is essentially the same.

On reflection, this is not so surprising. Much of the groundwork for the novel was laid down whilst I was working on the Malekith rewrites. Having spent quite some time seeking a story I wanted to tell, it’s become clear that my subconscious settled on a comfortable tale that I already knew worked.

There’s nothing wrong with telling a well-known tale in a different way, but since it is likely that this could be my first ‘independent’ novel I want to make sure it offers something different to what I’ve been writing for the black library.

Is this the end for the story? Certainly not! Having identified the niggling issue that had been eluding me, I can now sit down again and look at solutions that aren’t simple tinkering at the edges but ensure that the story is sufficiently different to what has come before.

So, with that in mind, it’s time to return to the notepad and start coming up with some more changes. It’s frustrating that I fell into such a seemingly obvious pit, but also a relief that I was not losing my mind or simply being overly-critical. A problem identified is halfway to being solved.

Published in: on October 21, 2008 at 2:26 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. not to sound weird or stalker-y or anything but…i’d love to just sit and listen to you talk about this whole writerly process. you have so many experiences tucked away that are common to the Writer — and thus much of your thoughts could actually be advice and been-there-done-that kind of pep talks… 🙂

    Gav – Well, Alex, I will witter on about writing to anybody who’ll listen, so thanks for paying attention 🙂


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