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Thinking aloud about some big revisions


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So I've been thinking over the nature of the story I want to be telling and what's important to that,and I'm fast coming to the conclusion that bumping Lasila from 17 to 22 initially will do a lot of what I'm needing done here. So, I'm just wanting to think aloud so I have something to look at, and I figure I might as well do it here in case anyone who's been reading along has any thoughts to offer, and it's something I can directly my other readers to so I can get their thoughts.

Savae's plotline basically remains unchanged by doing this, but key players in Lasila's storyline would have either their ages or interactions with Lasila needing modification (or both). A table, in order of appearance:

    =========			=======		=======					=====
    Lasila Vahendra			  17		  22		This would place her as a legal adult, and rather than
    								needing to restart the business from nothing, she'd
    								already have done the basics, and would presently be
    								struggling with making it work. Below for more
    Varinen Vahendra		  29		  29		This makes him seven years older than Lasila instead of
    								twelve. Thus, he's twenty-two when he takes legal
    								guardianship of Lasila rather than twenty-seven. This is
    								probably a net benefit to the particular strained
    								relationship they need to have going on if he's that much
    								younger and less prepared to basically dad a headstrong
    								teenager with pretty much nothing in common with him.
    Maranthe			34-39		 34-39		Maranthe's age is more or less irrelevant so long as she's
    								in her mid-late 30s. Maranthe/Lasila still not canon, but
    								less potential to be creepy.
    Eshrin Linphori			  27		  ??		This needs some specific consultation with people familiar
    								with the full outline. He needs to be older than Lasila, 
    								but I don't know that he needs to be a full ten years older.
    								There is probably less creepitude if Lasila is legal when they
    								meet, but he probably also comes off as more of a jerk if she's
    								got some experience under her belt. This may not be a bad thing.
    								Aging him up means aging up Melqueth, and Melqueth is currently
    								at his absolute maximum age that I'm willing to settle for, so.
    								Needs consultation.
    Rienri Linphori			30ish		30ish		His age doesn't matter all that much, to be honest. If Eshrin
    								or Iluya had POV, it might, but Rienri matters very little to
    Iluya Judessa			  25		  25		She probably comes off a little less predatory if Lasila's not
    								literally a minor. This is probably a good thing. I mean, she's
    								predatory, but not in the creepo way. Possibly she can come in
    Adrichel Melqueth		  26		  26		I prefer him at 24, since being somewhat of a prodigy is his
    								deal, but his dynamic with Eshrin trumps almost everything 
    								else, and Eshrin by nature would go straight to resentment if
    								Adrichel is too much younger.
    Irahi Ralista			  16		  21		Well, it's neither of their first times anymore. Probably he
    								starts contract negotiations sooner, so there's the potential
    								for romantic tension way earlier. Note: not a love triangle.
    Four other characters appearing in 12/13: Probably a lot more generalized shuffling. Not major characters, not a huge deal.

So, advantages of doing this:

  • The process of Lasila getting business off the ground isn't so much as important as her actually doing business.
  • Far less of Lasila preparing to do things that will take ages to actually get done.
  • Less time that's going to need a fast-forward approach later on.
  • As above, I suspect a lot of the character interaction is going to be a lot more interesting.


  • This would definitely impact the civil service exam/vote plot, which is about to (from what I've subbed thus far) step forward more
  • Which would then impact the sort of insider trading Lasila gets up to later on
  • Would also definitely impact a subplot I'm in the middle of writing too, with securing some account books
  • Would definitely have an effect on the Senatorial election plotline
  • She'd likely exposit less about social stuff

The big key here is that quite a lot of what's needed is that she needs to become employed by the Senate during the process of the story, and she has less reason for doing so if she's already gainfully (even if struggling) employed. If she were strictly a stock trader at this point and struggling with making enough to expand, that might do, but I don't feel like I've got the knowledge to do that right, so I'm leery of that particular route. The details of what exactly she's doing and how she's doing it would probably need a more detailed going-over in relation to the overall outline.

So, this is gonna have a big impact on the stuff that's already been done. Chapters that can probably get away with only minor changes:

  • 2
  • 4
  • 11-13

Chapters that can more or less retain the same skeleton, but would still need extensive rework:

  • 6-10

Chapters that would need to be gutted:

  • 1
  • 3
  • 5

And of course numbers might change around as pacing would be adjusted, but that's a given.

So, all but one of the disadvantages of doing this is something that I can outline around, and I think the payoff would be worthwhile. However, as it stands I'm presently 57,230 words into a target of 120,000. There's basically two roads I can go here:

  1. Turn around, go home, and start from 1 again.

Pros of doing this:

  • Saves the trouble of needing to rework this stuff as extensively later.
  • The nature of writing is of course such that I'm better now than when I started; the work will be better no matter what.

Cons of doing this:

  • man it's nearly halfway to target, I don't wanna throw all that out
  • seriously, that would suck

2. Adjust the outline, treat the adjustments as already having been made for the purposes of moving forward, keep going from where I am (middle of 13) as if these changes have always been in place, and smoothe out the seams in second draft.

Pros of doing this:

  • Not tossing all those words.
  • I'm confident I can make detail-level modifications on the fly going forward

Cons of doing this:

  • The rework stage, of course, is going to be killer.
  • Explaining continuity modifications when I sub, lol
  • Possibly this route is more actual work but it's work I don't have to do right now, so it's future neon's problem

Anyone have any thoughts at all here?

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I vote #1. And you're in good company here. I often reach these places in my drafts, have to stop writing, go back and rewrite from one, then continue on. It's frustrating, oh, so frustrating, but it really makes for a strong book start because you've gone over it so much. And when subbing, your first fifty pages are your money maker so to speak, so they have to be tight. The more you go over them, the better they get. Also, you don't have to throw everything out. Leave it there as a framework and edit around it. You'll do that anyway after you move to draft one from draft zero, so you're not actually losing any time or words.

I am completely behind the age increase in Lasilia. I think the changes you've outlined above will move the front part of the book to read more active.

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Yeah, I mean this is rework that'll need to be done no matter what, so it's gonna happen sooner or later; I think I'll probably need to do the outline adjustments first, and see how far off where I need to be I am right now. If it's too far off, pressing forward isn't going to help much at all. 

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Okay, outline repaired, and yeah, I think I'm going to have to start over, because some of this is going to have some massive implication differences. I'll probably finish off this section of 13 that I'm dealing with because I want to still use this subplot and move it up earlier for Savae, and I can transplant this bit nearly wholesale.

So, I have 11 and 12 complete, and large swathes of them are still good probably, so I'll still send 11 out at the very least; the Savae material within the both of them is still worth going over. 

Say hello to Lasila, contract lawyer.

Edited by neongrey
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Also, I think I'm moving to present tense. I've got a soft preference for it and I'm very comfortable with the form, but I did the first draft in past not so much because I wanted to or because I thought it was the right move but because past was a more conservative choice and I was wanting to hedge bets that way. But I think a lot of this will play better in present so.

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