So, the good news is that I’ve started on draft 2 of The Knowledge Stones! (A Ruon Chronicles novel.) The other good news is that I’m psyched to make the changes required.
The changes will really build on the current first draft and won’t really change the story that much. I didn’t suddenly have a brainwave and started from scratch – thank goodness! Rather, I realised – when I started rereading chapter one – that I really need to rework it.
The problem with pantsing a story
The thing is that I started The Knowledge Stones by setting out to write a flash story that takes place directly after “The Oath”:
The Oath (Original version)
“You could forget who you are in a place like that,” the Seeker told the young man.
“Why would I want to forget?” he snapped at the old man.
“Trevian,” his mother chided from the other side of the room.
“Look at me,” the old Seeker said, stretching out his arms and turning in a circle. “Are these the robes a helper on a pig farm could ever have worn? Because that is who I would have been before I went to the Sanctuary and became a Seeker of Knowledge.”
“Are you telling me that my life isn’t good enough?”
“I am telling you that your life could be much better – and much longer. There is no reason for you to go off and fight.”
“It’s war. And honour.”
“There are many types of honour.” The Seeker glanced towards the mother and nodded. “Not that you have much say in the matter,” he told the rehearsed lie. “Your mother bound you to us by oath.”
“That was before I was born!”
“Which makes her oath so much stronger than you telling your friends that you will go fight with them while you were drunk!” The Seeker brought his hand down on the table so hard that both child and mother flinched.
“I swore an oath to the Wislic of the Sanctuary in the name of the Creator,” the mother said. “It is an oath that cannot be broken.”
“You are now eighteen,” the Seeker said. “Which means that you are now bound to the Sanctuary. You will follow me and turn away from this folly. Go and fetch your things.”
The mother watched her eldest child leave her home with the Seeker and wondered if she would be punished for lying about an oath that she had never made.
Well. That flash piece turned into a novel. Oops. So it definitely needs some proper work done!
Building the characters
In the rewrite of chapter one, I’ll also be focusing some more on some of the characters already in the story, like Aaron (the Seeker), and I am planning on including Zala’s mother (Halatha) for a short scene with Aaron as well as building out the scenes with Zala. (Seeing as Zala became a POV character!)
The war that’s only mentioned in passing in “The Oath” is also going to be explained a bit more during the first chapter.
The biggest difference to what will become chapter 2 of the story, however, is that it will include the events of “The Oath” – though obviously not word for word. Hopefully my writing has improved since I wrote it! *hides*
I hope to have a first chapter outline and summary ready after the weekend, which I will then post on my Patreon page for my lovely patrons. Once the beginning is actually written, I will post that here.
There are two books I’m currently referring to, one my James Scott Bell and the other by K.M. Weiland. I find them both to be very helpful:
- The Last Fifty Pages: The Art and Craft of Unforgettable Endings by James Scott Bell (2019) Compendium Press.
- Structuring Your Novel Box Set: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story by K.M. Weiland (2014) PenForASword Publishing.