Sunday, July 24, 2011

Do you remember....?

Do you remember the first draft of your book?  I'm certain you have a copy of it somewhere in your house, whether it's in a folder, binder, on your computer, saved to a USB, hidden away in a locked desk drawer.  It's somewhere, and having just looked at mine I'll tell you that a lot can change from the first draft of your book to the final edition.

While I was wondering what to do next with my books, I opened up the first draft of Cursed with Power.  I thought I'd share with you what I discovered that I had forgotten until just now.  This was chapter 8 in the original:

I looked at my hand, which had been severely burned earlier. It was now bandaged and did not hurt. I felt under the collar of my dress and could feel another bandage covering most of my left shoulder and some of my neck. I turned my body so that I was facing the Healer and my legs hung over the table. I cleared my throat so she would realize I was awake. “Oh, you’re up! I was worried about you, you know?” She stood up, holding a book in her hands. “Your injuries were much worse than I had thought, but it looks like now you’ll be all right.”

In the final edition Celestria does not arrive at Roana's [the woman in the scene quoted above] until chapter 9.  However, here's where I noticed a major change that affected the entire book.

Then, I noticed there was a man sitting on a chair beside me. He covered his face with his hands, and when I saw his dark hair I thought for a moment he was Léal. Observing him in more detail, I saw his hair was not black but a dark brown. All the same, he looked just as well groomed as Léal hence I had to wonder who this man was. I straightened my position and then coughed. Both the woman and the man glanced up at the same time.
“Ah, you are awake,” she said as walked over with a book in her hand.

When I realized that Alaire [the man referred to in the scene above] does not appear whatsoever in the first draft of Cursed with Power I was horrified.  Now that I know the story well with Alaire being significant to Celestria's quest, I can't believe that originally he was never there.
The reality of it was in the first draft Celestria was alone.  She had no one to save her, no one to fall in love with, no one to share her secrets with.
To be honest, I'm glad that I changed the first draft significantly.  There is no way I would want to be querying this book and asking people to read it if Alaire was not in the story.

Take the time to look back at the first draft of your book and I guarantee you you'll be surprised.  What did you find that was or wasn't there in the final edition of your book now?  Are you satisfied with the changes that have occurred over time?
Be there for the magic:


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