A little bit of history…
Before we dive into the edits I have made to my novel, there are a few things I feel I should mention.
First off, a bit of history. This whole crazy thing started out as a NaNoWriMo attempt, a successful one no less, way back in the far off past of 2011. It was a weird point in my life. Working my first job as an educator, specifically an English teacher, at an unfortunate back-water school in rural S. Dakota. There were many great students and people I met there, but the building was literally toxic. The administration and some of my co-workers were toxic and nasty to interact with sure, but that’s not what I mean. I mean that the building was literally making me and my wife sick. Her more than me, truth be told, since she had the dubious honor to have her classroom literally on top of the source of our problems. I only mention this to provide context, it isn’t directly relevant.
The novel itself, or at least its first draft, was constructed in the free moments I had during that phase of my life. Thus, it is both bizarre and strangely constructed. Most of it was frantically written in a November frenzy and the remaining third over the course of December and with a healthy dose of “fukitol.” It was admittedly also product of a weaker writing-style that I had not yet had a chance to improve upon by that point. Honestly, I’m not really sure how much better my writing is now (though it HAS improved) or how it got better, but again… I’m getting off topic… Even once I finally got around to editing about a year or so later, my heart wasn’t really in it. I fixed a few minor grammatical errors, sighed about how terrible a writer I was, and left it largely unchanged. Needless to say, there were a lot of errors left behind and continuity problems left unnoticed or ignored. I was still too close to it, both the novel itself and the unstable mental state that I wrote it in.
The point here is simple: This thing is a mess. I still stand by it, and I put a lot of work into it, but it really needs this edit/rewrite. I’m trying very hard to maintain the spirit and content as best I can, but after only a week I’ve already scrapped 90% of one chapter and rewritten it. So to say this might prove a massive undertaking is probably an understatement. Fortunately, I’ve managed to make a lot of headway in getting my life back in order since then. That is due to a number of factors, but I will give a lot (a lot, a Lot, a LOOOT) of credit to my amazing wife. It hasn’t always been good, and its often been rough, but we made it through the landmine of the last half decade together and I doubt either of us would have made it without each other. Thank you so much and I love you!
One last thing I should mention… This weird semi-self-aware history/ramble post stands in one of the biggest editing decisions thus far. Where one chapter has been massivey rewritten and the few others I’ve worked on restructured/repaired, the Prologue stands alone as the only thing I have thus far was completely unsalvageable. It has been cut. It has been removed. It has ceased to be! In the interest of completeness, I felt something should fill the space in this blog’s purpose where it should have been and thus we have this new hot mess which has little to do with the book itself.
For those interested: The prologue was essentially an attempt at a framing device. The main character (still only named “the Doctor” in the earliest stage when it was written) sits beside a fire with other survivors of the bizarre apocalypse that is first glimpsed in Chapter 1. It was supposed to serve two purposes. First, to introduce the main character(s) of this novel in a “teaser” format which hinted at where they’ll end up by the end but not reveal how they got to that point. The Second and primary reason was to establish that the main character of this novel knew the main character of another book I had started earlier. There were others beyond my Doctor and Survivor around that fire, implying that there were more books to come beyond those two. There still might be, but at the moment I doubt it. I’ve spent much of the last 2.5 years building a world I much prefer to this one, with help and input from trusted people in my life which simply didn’t exist for this one. The Survivor’s Tale still sits shelved, just over half complete. The Doctor’s Tale will be fully edited andhopefully published somewhere by the time I’m done with it, but simply put: I have more love and interest for the Columbiana/”No Books of Men” setting right now and my immediate future will likely be aimed at that creative thread…