I’ve decided to put the sequels to Hellbound (Hellbent and Hellborn) on hiatus for the time being. This is because I can’t possibly write continuations of the story until I know what the final product is going to look like. At this point in time, I have no idea what the final draft of Hellbound will be like, so I just have to wait.
In the meantime I’m going back to one of my old books – The Dreamcatchers.
For those who don’t know, The Dreamcatchers was the first book I ever wrote. Back when I was thirteen and had no idea how to make words go together.
In my junior year of highschool, when I was fifteen or sixteen, I rewrote this book from scratch. Now that several years have passed, I am ready to rewrite it again. Well, by “ready” I mean I am “ready to procrastinate and scratch my head a bunch while I try to figure out how to make this book better.” I started a new draft a while back, and rereading it now has shown me that I still don’t quite have it right yet. Let me give you an example of how the book has improved over the years.
Dreamcatchers intro from 2007:
Running is useless, exhausting, and all-around annoying. That has been my belief for as long as I can remember. Walking, however, is tolerable if the occasion calls for it; and just such an occasion happened to present itself one sunny morning.
Dreamcatchers intro from 2009:
Dying is painful.
It was both maddening and sad that I had come so far only to fail. As I leaned against the cold stone wall with my arm over the deep gash in my stomach, I wondered vaguely how on earth I’d gotten into such a huge mess. The first thought that came to mind was the day I saw my neighbor getting his newspaper.
Dreamcatchers intro from 2012ish:
Less than two weeks ago, life was fine. Normal even. I never found myself in life-threatening situations, like this one (Am I ever going to stop bleeding? How long does dying take?). The biggest risk I took was eating cheese that was one day past its expiration date.
My point in showing you these things is that things change. Sometimes they even change for the better. But as I said in my Writing Rules post, you are never as good as you will be two weeks from now. Let me show you what I like and dislike about my latest introduction to this book. Copied and pasted below are the first two paragraphs. The bits in red are my comments.
Less than two weeks ago, life was fine. Normal even. I never found myself in life-threatening situations, like this one (Am I ever going to stop bleeding? How long does dying take?). I like the bits in parentheses there. They add personality to the narrative voice. The biggest risk I took was eating cheese that was one day past its expiration date. Kind of cliche humor here.
I remember the day everything went to Hell because I’d woken up to a prime sketching opportunity. See, I was really bad at drawing noses. They always came out looking like tumors, or potatoes…or potatoes with tumors. This joke feels forced, like I’m trying too hard to be funny. It should probably be removed. And that morning, I’d glanced out my second-story bedroom window to see my neighbor across the street getting his newspaper. It was perfect, because his nose looked just like a potato. He was wearing a bathrobe over his striped pajamas, and a pair of slippers. It was like he didn’t even care that people could see him like that. That sentence is good because it shows the character of the narrator – she assumes that people should care about their appearances and how other people see them. As quickly as I could, I grabbed my sketchbook and a stick of charcoal from my desk.
Overall, not terrible. But there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately, and I think it’d be best to take this book in a little bit of a different direction. No first-person narrator. A more distinctive juxtaposition of the main character’s real life and her dream life. That sort of thing.
For those of you wondering about the plot of this book, here’s the gist:
A girl named Shaina McKay has some major issues with getting along with others. She also has an irrational fear of running and exerting herself. Then one day she unwittingly buys a magic dreamcatcher which transports her into her dreams every morning. Each dream challenges her to step outside her comfort zone and rethink her priorities, causing her to become a better person for it.
So anyway, wish me luck with the writing and everything. This book is very special to me because it was the first I ever wrote, so I hope I’ll be able to get it published one day. Maybe I can even make it into a series. I don’t know. I had a couple sequels written out for it but they were pretty terrible and I don’t know if I’ll be able to improve them. We’ll see.
That’s all for now!
Word of the Day: Cogent (adj) – convincing or believable by virtue of forcible, clear, or incisive presentation; telling.