The dreambenders dropped from the sky in a rain of purple-black fire. A shower of swirling gray robes and death.
The tribe scattered, running in all directions.
As always, some of them not fast enough.
The boy awoke. Pain caught the wind of consciousness and spread like wildfire across his body.
These are the opening lines from my WiP "Eye of the Dome." And when I say WiP, I mean one long-running WiP. This is the first novel I ever wrote, a YA fantasy with a foot in the realm of speculative fiction, never published, then entitled "The Soul of Mind." I began writing it in 2005 and finished in 2007--or at least I thought so then.
But a few months ago I opened up the file on my computer and skimmed over it, thinking, "You know, somewhere in there among all this unnecessarily verbose prose, there's a real good story." So I retitled it and started rewriting it, from beginning to end. No cutting and pasting allowed. As of now, I'm about halfway done. The original manuscript was 118K words. The way it's looking, the first draft of this new, improved version of the novel will be around 70K.
The prologue was originally twenty pages long. That's right, twenty long pages. I cut those twenty pages down to four sentences. Personally, I think the new version is much more effective. But it is still a WiP and I may add a little more to it. But not much more.
It amazes me how much I've learned since I first began writing about story structure, plotting, character development, writing in general. Practice never makes perfect, but it does make better. And there is always more to learn. It also amazes me that I attempted to get this thing published as it was back then. Boy, some of those agents and publishers I queried must have had a good laugh at the expense of my naive ass. But hey, I was a young author with a head full of ideas and a lot of determination, and we all have to start somewhere. And yes, I still have a head stuffed with ideas and determination, though determination of a wiser, less impatient, more-grounded sort. Huh. Must come with being a father.
Thanks for stopping by. And don't forget to head over to Six Sunday and check out all the sweet, succinct posts from all the fine writers.