WRITING: Evenfall Revisions: Excerpt

evenfallrevisionssonny

Click the above picture to make it full-size. This comes from a post from Sonny on his tumblr blog in February. Find the original post here.

This is the information Sonny added as a note:

For ICoS readers and interested parties, this is an example of the kind of editing we have been doing to trim the fat and cut down that insane word count. We’ve cut a few scenes and a rare chapter, but rest assured we have not gotten rid of anything that was necessary for the plot or development of the characters.

The above is part of an edit from one of my “quadrants”. We split the first book into 4 parts and are each tackling a chunk. For this quad, the original word count was nearly 170K. And that is only for the last 1/4 of the book! My target wordcount is 75K. So far I’m up to 138K and I haven’t even gotten to Boyd’s trip to the Fourth.

Note: Still hasn’t been checked by Ais or a proofer. It’s all raw edits.

Music: MikelWJ, Help Me

I was wandering around youtube when I ran across this teenager MikelWJ. He has a number of songs, and what I really like about them is they have good messages. (The ones I’ve seen so far) Then I saw this video, and it made me think of ICoS. The exact situation he mentions doesn’t track but I feel like the feeling of the video definitely does.

Some lyrics I highlighted are behind a cut for anyone who hasn’t read through the birthday chapter in Evenfall. You’ll know what chapter I mean if you’ve read it.

Either way, if you want to find more of his music, go to https://soundcloud.com/mikelwj or search MIKELWJ at youtube, itunes, or pretty much anywhere. Incidentally, it seems that most if not all of his music is free for download.

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Art: Boyd sketches

over the years, I made sketches of Boyd for reference. The following drawings 1) aren’t very talented, 2) were meant to be a general idea for myself and Sonny, and 3) are semi-canon, in that they were ways of referencing canon things for myself BUT doesn’t mean anything had to look exactly the way I drew it. The fonts may be different on things, the exact positioning of this or that may change, and if people had a different view of him in their mind, then they aren’t wrong, either.

Below the cut contains spoilers through Fade chapter 7.

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WMHB: The Internet-friendly Guard

We’ve been working on the edits of the Evenfall rewrites this weekend. We broke the book into quadrants so we’ve been working on different chapters. I’m editing a scene in Evenfall chapter 22, and I cannot tell you how much I want to write something in dialogue I really just can’t do. But if I can’t stick it in story, at least I can blog about it.

Behind a cut for spoilers in Evenfall chapter 22.

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Notes to Self: Scene cuts and growth

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it anywhere, but in the process of writing the series we would often run through a chapter multiple times in editing. I’m particularly a waffler on these things, and a bit of a pack rat when it comes to hoarding rather than deleting.

Before we found gdocs as a main way to write stories, we did most of our editing in Word. Boyd is, obviously, very introspective as a character so especially in Evenfall I had a hard time figuring out which bits to keep and which to remove in his narration– so that the thought process was still explained well enough for readers to get where he was coming from, but so that it wasn’t way too much. (That’s one of the things I want to address the most in Evenfall 3.0 edits)

In addition to that, Boyd didn’t always react the way I expected he would when we first plotted out scenes. Sometimes a small thing in the way Hsin said or did something made Boyd react in a way that was counterproductive for what we’d planned for the scene, but was more realistic to him as a person. This meant there were some scenes we wrote, and rewrote, and REWROTE… (And it wasn’t just Boyd doing this; Hsin would, too. Those little bastards didn’t know how to make writing this series easy on us)

I’m not sure if it sounds strange to anyone to refer to Boyd as someone with his own mind but that’s how he always felt to me. I just knew this or that felt right for him, and sometimes it wasn’t until later that I understood why.

I think intuitively I just felt very strongly that he would do or say certain things. I always knew what drove him at the heart of his character, but the reason we’d had to start ICoS over from the original bits we wrote (before it was ICoS) was precisely because I knew if we wrote this story, Boyd would change as a person. Slowly, awkwardly, and not always efficiently, but I knew he would start as very depressed, closed off, suicidal, and with no hope, to eventually become someone with confidence, hope, dreams, and love. It had to be a growth that made sense. He had to have faults along the way, and make mistakes, but he was never malicious in anything he did because that was never who he was. His flaws always drew back to his deep insecurity coupled with what he felt was his hopeless desire to be loved and wanted.

I think I used to drive Sonny nuts on that, because when we’d have hypothetical conversations in planning scenes far in advance he’d say “If Hsin did ___ what would Boyd do?” and my answer so often was, “Well, it depends…”

Anyway, I changed my mind a lot in editing, but rather than delete the scenes I used to put them in separate documents in case we later decided to reincorporate it. I also like the idea of maintaining history for situations exactly like this. In order to remind myself what each doc was I named them things to jog my memory.

Just now, I found one of my folders that was filled with such excerpts and other bits and pieces, and the file names amused me. In case anyone is interested in a glimpse of the weirdly messy-but-organized contradiction that is my mind, see the screenshot below– and click on it to make it larger if the words can’t be read.

originalnotesicos

I think my favorite file name is “original whut im a killer convo.” I imagine Hsin sitting there with a D: face saying that to Boyd lol