Sunday, April 4, 2010

Chapter 1 Redux Marathon

For those of you following along at home, you know that we've started on a marathon challenge of re-writing the beginning in a few different ways to see if we can come up with something better. Since we've been getting a lot of good feedback, we thought we'd share with you what we're thinking in rewriting the prologues.

Why not stick with the original prologues?

It was a tough decision to try re-writing. We were very fond of the original four prologues, but after looking at them again, we realized that they set up a few problems. We aren't saying that these are huge problems, but they're what we're thinking about when we try out these alternate openings. These issues are:

1. The prologues start with Fell. This is tricky because, as many people have pointed out, Fell doesn't end up being a central character to the entire plot. If anything, it seems like the story centers more around Averi and Wisteria. Of course Fell is important, but by starting with Fell, we set up a the wrong expectation about whose story it is.

2. The prologues build up a world that we quickly lose sight of. Fell's world is built on the bonded laborer system and local bullies. Averi is from a palace, and Wisteria is from the Ling Monastery. All of these are important, but maybe they aren't the most important parts of the SFA world. Maybe they aren't what we need to immediately lead with.

3. The prologues introduce four different characters. While we do like the idea of showing where everyone comes from, we're worried that it's a lot of people to meet--instead of building up a connection with one character, it feels a little scattered.

What now?

For the next few weeks, we'll be playing around with the introduction and seeing what we can come up with. The original prologues will still have a place in the continuity of the world, even if we end up going with a different opener. We know that rewriting means potentially losing some of the good things we liked about the original prologues, but just maybe we can come up with some new good things that serve SFA a little better. When you read, keep in mind that you're reading a rough draft--something we've written but haven't yet polished. We're doing this to just try out a few different ideas before we start feeling locked into one of them, but the downside is that they'll feel rougher than the original prologues.

Anyway, that's what's going on behind the scenes here at SFA. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave any comments you have about the new openings.

KL and JLY