Monday, July 20, 2015

The Obloeron Re-writes: Done, Done, and DONE!

When I finished the first draft for the manuscript that became The Quest for the Chalice in early February 2005, I remember a weight seemingly leave my shoulders. The manuscript was, I thought at the time, completed. I had just finished writing my first novel, and the emotion of the moment took over my body. The fact it took me just over two years to write that particular novel and all the issues surrounding it, dealing with writer's block and not knowing where to take the story a few times (and then discovering my backstory in Kayiko), dealing with the death of my father and life without him, and then nearly losing the entirety of the manuscript in a Christmas 2004 disk problem, and then typing those two little words... yeah, you can say I was a little emotional that evening.

And while I've felt the finality of writing novels in the last 10-plus years--the weight leaving, the feeling of "Oh, thank Cthulhu that's over!" and then following that up with "OK, what do I do now?"--I've grown to the point where there is no need for tears when I finish writing a book. It's my job now, and there is no crying at work.

On Sunday, I didn't cry when I finished this read-through and revision of The Obloeron Saga, even though I felt a bit of an emotional tug around 1:30 p.m., when I saved the file to The Fall of Myrindar.

Yes. After 12 years, six months, and 15 days after I first started writing about a little halfling known as Yanos Kingsfoil, I can safely say that Obloeron's six-book saga is now completed.

There have been some changes, as I've mentioned before. I've tightened the story from front to back. Passive voice is gone; it littered my writing a decade ago. I've deleted whole sections that slowed the story down. I made a few character changes to fit continuity and canon. From what I can see, the story, as a whole, reads much better than it did two years ago. It simply feels better, in my opinion.

Of course, there are some spots where it drags a bit; the whole exposition coming back from Statuary Tower at the end of Quest... there's not much I can do, and I really cannot cut it; it's just a really boring section, the action done. The exposition builds up to the ending, where Grumpet tells his Jessica that he must go south with the dwarves. But the rest of it is pretty darn good; seriously, I still get chills at the end of Fall, when Aidan Rosar makes his first appearance in a while--and I wrote that scene in 2006!

Now, the next thing to do is to compile the multiple book files into a single compendium and read it again, this time on my Kindle. I'll do that in October, right before it's time to re-publish, as well as upload the finished files of the single books. And yes, there may be a few tears, too.

I can tell you that the final quarter of 2015 will be pretty darn exciting as I say good bye to Obloeron one last time.