A conversation no longer had in Chapter 1 now needs to happen in Chapter 2, but as a result of the changes in the conversation, something else is said or thought or noticed and now that isn't needed in Chapter 3. Oh, and since it happened that way, now, and this character isn't really needed, and that's a shame, but he can show up in the sequel.
Jeez! I had known changing the beginning would have a ripple affect. The crux vibrations is that I ended up de-cluttering and uncomplicating things a bit. All for the better, of course, but it has far reaching consequences.
I saw a friend this weekend, one of my original readers (we're friends from high school, and she was reading the stuff I was working on way back then). She's read parts of this current book, and always asks how it is going. I told her about the few changes I made to the beginning and then added, "So yeah, changing that is causing me to have to rewrite everything."
An exaggeration and she knew it, but the truth is, I am going back through every chapter and seeing exactly what is being altered by the changes. It's like a weird alternate universe of my original story, a "What If...?" plot line coming to fruition:
What if I had been a better writer the first time around?
Ok, not quite, but yeah, I do think I'm a better writer now than I was when I started this novel. It's only reasonable I would be able to see things differently and improve upon what I had previously done. But then again, editing needs to stop at some point. I'm thinking (hoping) May.
And now, because I have been talking about the new beginning for so long, here is what my original post for the 312-word beginning contest would look like now. Except that this is closer to 350, but whatever.
The gentle shake was unexpected and unwelcome. Shae was cozy napping on the couch, and she was having such a vivid dream. She had no desire to wake up now, but when she tried to explain this to whomever was prodding her, all that came out was a groan.“Shae, you have to get up. Come on!” The voice was urgent, and the shaking was getting worse, but she ignored it and embraced the heaviness of sleep.It had been such a strange dream, tantalizing and yet a little disturbing. She had seen Michael having sex with a beautiful blonde woman except that Michael didn’t really look like Michael. In her dream, he had been so much larger and stronger. And he had tattoos, which was odd to see; there were a few down his arms, but the one that had caught her eyes was the elaborate phoenix spanning his shoulder blade. The blonde was no one Shae recognized, but she had been gorgeous: timeless and curvy and just so perfect.The hand shook her again, harder this time. “Shae, we really need to go. Now! There are...um, well, zombies....”Shae had never had a sex dream about Michael before. She dreamt about him often, but usually she dreamed of two of them doing things together, like talking in a coffee shop or walking down the street. Sometimes they saw movies together or even went out on a romantic date. Never sex.“Shae, please wake up!” The hand shook her harder, and she lazily slapped it away. She wanted so desperately to slip back into her dream. Someone had been talking to her at the end; it had been important too. Alas, it was gone now, and she slowly opened her eyes, hating the brightness that blinded her.Where was she, anyway? And who was trying to wake her? She didn’t recognize the voice, which was decidedly masculine.When that thought sunk in, she came to with a start, adrenaline pumping. She didn’t know where she was and a strange man was waking her up and he was talking about...did he say zombies?
Quite a bit different. Quite.
Yes, it is fantasy, and no it is not a zombie book. The zombies are dealt with easily, and that is actually the entire point to them being there, but that doesn't really come up until Chapter 2.
is plowing through. He's nearly halfway through the book, and the further he gets, the less changes are required. Except to the next chapter he has to do...that one got hit pretty hard by these changes.