Trying New Things, Remembering Old Writing Advice

Quarterly Goal Update // October 24th, 2022

As you know, I chose Blood of the Fallen as my focus for fall quarter. I am rewriting the first draft for the indefinite future, and I decided to try some new things, like writing a prologue. After reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, I rediscovered my fondness for prologues and epilogues.

The first ten chapters of any manuscript are always difficult. The words don’t flow right, my pacing feels awkward, and I feel as though I can’t hear my characters clearly. Introducing conflict on chapter one has been a godsend for my pacing and charactertization.

“Enter late, leave early,” is one of the first things you’ll hear in any creative writing class. But I’m rusty, so I forgot.

Fortunately for me, I recalled this piece of advice last week while I was working on chapter one, which led to my next decision: creating conflict between the prologue and chapter one. This allows for chapter one to be full of stress, which I enjoy, and establish some of the necessary worldbuilding before chapter one starts.

You might be wondering, “How much of the story has changed since you introduced Blood of the Fallen to us?”

To that, I reply, “A lot.”

Lucy is no longer the main character of the story, Axe is. Isaac has a few issues involving the source of their spell-casting abilities. The origin of Clementine’s powers has been fine-tuned. Lastly, I plan on having our myths (werewolves, vampires, etc.) have more agency. They are no longer mute villians, but antagonists with desires, goals, and ulterior motives.

The new changes are necessary, and I am having more fun in my daydreams when I imagine certain scenes taking place. It is safe to say that this draft will be fun to write.

“There he goes,” Isaac murmured, breaking the silence.

It was too dark to see, but Axe knew the Keepers around him were silently crying. He wiped at his own wet eyes as he saw the bright star fall. Clementine leaned against Isaac’s shoulder and hid her face with one hand.

Axe closed his eyes and began to pray. There was always an order to things, to his life. Keepers protect the commons, the feeble humans, from the supernatural creatures. They were
expected to die, sooner than later. Hardly any of them were able to retire, and the few that did were unable to live normal lives. Once a Keeper, always a Keeper. Death was to be expected, hence Axe’s certainty that he would be the next one to fall in the sky.

Let it be quick, Axe thought to himself. I don’t want to feel anything.