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ProAm Tips #12

February 29, 2016

On January 26th of this year, While making a run at the final edit of the final book in my Veiled Earth Trilogy, I spotted a terrible digression and some plot flaws and had to excise a few words- thirty thousand, basically.

That took the manuscript from complete at 88k to not even close at 58k.

Today I hit 88k, having revised and shored up and extended and inserted and… god damn it. I fell in love with what should have been a one-sided, plot moving, opposite-of-the-hero type villain. I suddenly realized I had a human being on my hands, who had lived, learned, grown… in other words, became real, with drive, desire, remorse, and all the good things about flawed people. Someone who wasn’t a villain in their own eyes, and managed to convince ME that maybe they weren’t either. And their changes are being reflected on all the other characters, making everything move in different directions than I had planned. It obliterates the ending I’d written, of course, but that’s par for the course.

It fundamentally changed the scope of the book. It changed the nature of what Iw as trying to say with this particular set of books, and it made the heart of the story what ALL stories should be- about people trying to figure out how to be people, despite life happening aggressively all around them, the best they can, whether they succeed or not.

If my estimate is correct, this one’s gonna top out at about 100k.

And… I don’t think I’m wrong, or playing up my own work, or bragging, when I say this story’s gonna be good.

Personally, _I_ can’t wait to see how it turns out.

This is a perfect example of how a writer is not just suggested to, not just encouraged to, not just required to, but FORCED to allow the story to tell itself. There’s a lot of theory as to where the story comes from, whether it’s just grabbed out of the ether and condensed into hard copy by our willing little fingers, whether it’s meticulously planned and ou