Monday, January 5, 2015

The Obloeron Re-write--So Therapeutic

Over the course of the past month (with the exception of the last two weeks, because... Christmas), I've begun the long-awaited re-write of Obloeron: The Quest For The Chalice. So far, I've re-written the first few chapters of the original book, streamlining things and eliminating the dreaded head-hopping that appeared in the novel I started writing 12 years ago this past weekend. As of this afternoon, I'm 19,202 words into the re-write. I'm making the story better. Chugging along, but if Christmas didn't exist, I would be much further along in the re-write. Alas....

So far, I'm enjoying this process, much more than I thought I would.

Here's how this all went down:

In November 2013, my dear friend Deborah Levinson asked me if I had ever gone back to look at what I had previously written, now that I've become a better writer than when she first met me back in 2010. I said I hadn't, but it got me curious: Just how far have I come?

Not to pat myself on the back too hard, but yeah, I've come a long way.

About a day or so later, I looked into the file for The Obloeron Trilogy, and I couldn't read it. The writing burned my eyes: the original writing from 10-12 years ago in the first book was complete and utter adverse shit. I have no problem admitting that. I then proceeded to take the books off sale. I didn't want anyone to see them. I was saddened by this, but I realized I had to do it. The books weren't good enough. I promised myself that at some point, I would try to revise them, using the skills I had acquired in order to better serve the story.

After I finished the first draft to The Long Crimson Line a month ago, and after a conversation with C.S. Marks and Matthew Verish (two authors who I know have gone through massive re-writes of their own fantasy series), I decided that I would finally go back into the Obloeron world, starting off by re-reading what I could stand. At first I decided that it would be too hard of a process and almost let it stay buried in a desk drawer. But after that false start, I looked into the short stories that revolve around this world (I had written them after I finished the prequels). I then made the decision to employ some of those short stories into this new version of the trilogy. I think that when the finished product is done, the readers will find it a boon for the series and will answer a few questions, i.e. why Radamuck went searching for the Chalice in the first place. Also, the writing will be 100 percent better than the writing from a decade ago. I'm convinced that it will be better.

With the re-write comes a few changes that I'm sure will be confusing to readers. I've changed the name of the dwarven homeland from Labergator to Lowbridge, mainly to eliminate the needless mispronunciation of the former; this means that when I'm done with this, I have to go to the first two prequels and replace those references. One of the main characters' names has been changed, mainly to eliminate the adolescent overtone of the character's original name. There will be a few other changes, too: the journal entries that started the sections are gone. I will make no apologies for this.

I expect that the first book's re-write will take me through St. Patrick's Day as I'll be shifting between the next round of edits for Travel Agent and that book's release, as well as the first major round of edits for The Long Crimson Line and the brainstorming for the seventh Agent novel, which I'll write this summer. Whether or not I do a re-write of the second and third books remains to be seen; I'm sure I will, though.

It is my full hope that The Obloeron Trilogy will return to eTailers around this time next year.

Until then, read.