About three years ago I got fed up looking at Fire’s Hope and decided to finally buckle down and rewrite it. So I started with an outline. I went through and took scenes I thought were absolutely necessary and did bullet points on all the notes I wanted to hit. The rewrite took a good three years of on and off work until I printed the darn thing, and resolved to go through one chapter at a time and mark everything.
You already saw that process. And now you can buy Fire’s Hope on amazon! Go buy it! 🙂
So with Laevatein’s Choice I started much the same way. I did an outline, wrote the three major points I wanted to hit, which expanded to five, then developed scenes, and I got the story to the point were I could actually reuse the trash that I wrote when I was 14. Basically, LC was directionless, I was writing Shadows like a fanfiction for fun, with boring fluff and pointless tangents.
I wrote a couple chapters over the summer, establishing my tone, but I had to focus on FH mostly. Until the week after FH came out in the middle of NaNoWriMo and I realized LC was at 23k lining up with the date in NaNo. I could beat NaNo even if I didn’t write the whole 50k. I pushed myself and made it to a beautiful 49k-something, and I just kept going. hit 50k December 1, and only took 1 day off from writing.
I kept a log of all my writing sessions and on one of those days I wrote 12k in one day.
Over the course of a little over 3 weeks, I rewrote the entirety of Book 2!
So after fighting so hard with FH it feels very reassuring to know that the rest of the books aren’t going to pose quite as much pain for me.
The new Plot
Picking up where the last book left off, Mark has had a few months to adjust to being a Shadow and is now faced with the fact that he has powers in a mundane world. He’s not a superhero, he’s a teenager, there’s nothing grand about his powers, and he essentially has no purpose. His goal for this book is to find a productive way to use his Shadow, and satiate his need for adrenaline.
On the flip side, this book gives much more focus to Emilie and her personal struggles. She’s gained her freedom and is living with her mother, but she can’t make herself stay put and feels obligated to care for her mother who deals with depression and hoarding.
Finally, one of the points that was left very open in book one is January Halo’s position. Mark was very suspicious of him and January clearly has some resentment for Shadows. I want the two of them to bond in this book and establish January as one of the main characters.
The themes of this book will reflect on the story as a whole. Familial struggles, divorce, abusive personalities, and addictive behaviors. Mark is an adrenaline junkie and finds a mentor who will train him to use his seemingly boundless energy. January is a very ritualistic character who struggles to deviate from habit. And Emilie is a very reluctantly caring figure who takes on other people’s struggles when she can’t handle her own. Another major addition to the story is introducing Adult Shadows. The last book focused on Teenagers and how dangerous their unrefined powers, whereas this one will establish how much more powerful, elusive, and potentially dangerous refined adult Shadows can be.
If you are interested in diving into Book 2 to help me shape the story in these early stages I’m open for two or three, beta readers to read over the document in two increments. This will be over the Christmas holiday so I don’t expect the slots will fill up quickly.
In January I plan to start the first round of intense beta reading. The book will be divided into 5 portions of 4 chapters (25 chapters total), with a variety of questions to analyze the story. Any comments and questions in the margins of the document are very much appreciated. The submission form will go up soon, but if you’d like to go ahead and let me know you’re interested just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I plan on at least one more round of beta reading before starting a professional edit which I hope to get the ball rolling for that by March. The process for LC is going much quicker than I anticipated and I’m getting very excited!
The Shadows: Laevatein’s Choice is going to be amazing!