Hey everyone. Or whoever's left of everyone.
I know it's been quite a while since I've updated the blog, and I do have a fairly decent excuse, but I feel terrible about the absence. Fortunately, NaNoWriMo gave me just the kick in the pants I needed to come back and try to post again.
For those unaware, I currently live in China. Yes, that China. What can I say, I'm a moron who loves adventure. It's been a bit rough getting settled in over the last few months and getting things straightened out with my job here, but I think everything's just about as settled as it's going to get. There's a lot to talk about when it comes to China, and I could rant for days without even touching political issues. Still, this is a writing blog and this is NaNoWriMo. With that in mind, I think a much needed update on The Paladin is due.
For one, the novel has been split. There was so much I needed to pack into the initial story that it ended up being overstuffed. No agent would touch something that big from a first time author, and frankly I couldn't blame them. I tried so hard to remove everything that wasn't essential, but the end product kept feeling dry. My beta readers felt like the changes were stripping the story and that I should tell my story my way, regardless of word count.
While I appreciated the sentiment, I needed a solution that would work for both them and any potential agents, so I decided to break the book in half. Essentially, the first half of the novel will remain the same, but will get a new antagonist and ending, which the second book will have a new opening, but retain almost all of the back end. This way I get to tell my story, include everything I want, but still have a small enough word count that agents don't just toss it aside.
So for the last few months I've been reworking the story, and I have to tell you, it's gone through some crazy changes. Just as an example of something that I felt was integral to the new story but still ended up on the cutting room floor, I had an entire b-plot about a vampire murder. I was working in how a crime scene works when Paladins have to deal with police, how things are kept under wraps, how you might quietly assassinate a vampire, and so much more. But then I cut it all. Zip! Gone!
Don't get me wrong, I liked it and I want to maybe revisit the concept in a later work, but it just doesn't work for what I'm doing now. But what I do have, I feel, is a leaner, better story. Everything flows. I've spent the last few months going over my plot like the guys from Cinema Sins and Pitch Meeting. In fact, as a fun exercise for would-be authors, watch a few videos from each of those YouTube channels, then imagine how they'd talk about your story. You'll find yourself noticing all your narrative flaws if you're anything like me.
I suppose the point is, the story is still coming. In fact, a lot of things are on the horizon, thanks in part to the lovely adventure I'm having in China. The Paladin is still pressing forward and I think I may have some exciting new about related projects in the future.
Be Excellent to Each Other
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.