So let’s talk about change.
Writing anything can be an ego-breaking experience. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but for some people (such as myself), there is a twofold humbling that takes place. The first is the editing process itself. You cut fat here, you add some there. You delete sentences, paragraphs, or even whole chapters. You realize that things are unclear in one section, or that you’re making things too obvious. It can come in any number of forms.
I started writing this story, at the time known as “Prism,” two years ago. I blitzed through NaNoWriMo in the 30 days allotted, and after a lengthy period of ignoring it, I attempted to go back through my work and finally polish it up.
This was the second humbling. Any writer can look at what they’re currently working on and address minor, and even some major issues, and while this is tough, it’s easier because you usually aren’t taking in the entire work at once. When you come back to something with totally fresh eyes, however, and you start rereading your work, I’ve found that it is a drastically different matter.
The first thing I realized, very quickly, was that the story did not work in first person. It needled me with every sentence. My point of view character, Fayne, was not supposed to be “The Main Character.” With the goals Katie and I had in mind, the entire thing had to be shifted to third person, in order to be fair to the multiple equally important characters within the narrative.
I realized looking back how very ridiculous certain character concepts and plot points were. Fighting off a horde of giant wasps added nothing to the story, except maybe an excuse for an action sequence. It was ridiculous for the main character to have a dial that activated the enchantment on his boots – how was he supposed to utilize that in combat?
These things are humbling, but you have to learn to give yourself grace. A lot of the plot elements are still in use in our current outline, but a great many of them were changed substantially or cut altogether. I’ve accepted all of these alterations, some more willingly than others, but each change makes sense. They’ve shaped the tone and the tightened the story with each tweak, and having a partner to bounce ideas off of and to point out things I may have overlooked has been immensely valuable.
Since that initial block of work, a lot more has changed. Chief amongst them is that while I still do a lot of writing in-universe, our core project has shifted mediums. The story that I started back in 2014 we hope to be launch as a weekly webcomic in about a year and a half. I don’t know that I could have foreseen that two years ago, but I can’t tell you how right it feels now to have made that change.
Thank you for reading these series of posts about my early writing experience. Over the next few weeks, I intend to switch the focus to my favorite subject: Worldbuilding.
I hope you’ll continue reading.