Out with the Old and in with the… Older?

Time to stop waiting and to start writing again.  I think I deserved that month break after finishing Trouble, Dance Me a Match, and Fireflies all in the course of four months, but now it’s time to work on something new.

Er, something old.

I’m going back, back, back all the way to my first novel.  This was about a pair of boy-girl identical twins (it’s magic), who are telepathically linked.  The boy, Jian, has what they call “loud mental vibrations,” which basically means that he thinks so loudly that anyone with a little psychic ability will pick up on it.  The girl, Michiko, is invisible to psychics, though.  And one of the things I found fun about it was that Jian almost never talks (because Michiko will do it for him).  There’s a portal and a prophecy, I know I know.  But I’m going to revamp it, and hopefully salvage it as much as I can.  Changes I see coming:

  • POV: Originally the POV was all over the place.  The MCs got most of it, but everyone in the novel pretty much got their say.  I’m narrowing it down incredibly.  Now only Michiko will have a POV, and it will be first person instead of third.
  • Backstory: Once upon a time, I had chapters and chapters of the MCs’ childhood.  Toddlers to twelve-year-olds (the real story starts with them at 16).  I didn’t understand how I could show how important a necklace with powers was without showing them getting it.  I didn’t understand how to introduce the love interest without showing her introduction to them (at 12).  Some backstory I had managed to cut before finishing the novel, but I just couldn’t convince myself that the rest didn’t need to be shown.  Now it will be great world- and character-building that I’ll incorporate other ways.
  • Length: When I finished the “first” draft of Echoes of Silence (keeping in mind I had already cut a lot of backstory before I finished), it was 130K.  I trimmed it down to 116K just with tightening and cutting one more scene, IIRC.  I’m thinking that losing the backstory and all the different POVs, plus all the skills I learned in writing a tighter story will help keep this in a more acceptable YA range.
  • Setting: I’m going to revamp the world the MCs live in a little.  The background behind why they’re boy-girl identical twins is already redone.
  • Jian: This is the big one, and why I got excited about it.  I was listening to this program on NPR about autism, and as the girl was talking about different ways people on the autism spectrum experience the world, I kept saying, “That’s like Jian.  That’s like Jian, too.  Oh, wow, a little tweaking, and Jian could be autistic.”  I’ve become a little more interested in autism lately anyway, as I hear more about it, and now I’m going to research into it and see if it’s feasible for Jian, my hero, to be autistic.

I’m really excited about this because I always was sad that this novel was totally trunk-worthy, but I think rewriting it from scratch and just keeping the parts that I loved about it (the climax will remain pretty much the same, just from one POV, and a big portion of what I mourn losing by trunking this novel is that) will let me save it.  Plus 85% of the world-building and all the character-building except for the autism changes are already done, and I know the story will last me into the YA range.

I’m really excited, guys.

Lots of love,

Sage

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7 thoughts on “Out with the Old and in with the… Older?

  1. so how do boy/girl identical twins work? are we talking just identical in terms of faces, because…you know…boobies and stuff…

    (Edited for Hannah)

    • They’re identical in every way except those particular male-female body parts. And Michiko complains about being flat-chested in the first 200 words. Their DNA is identical except for the Y-chromosome.

  2. Can’t have an autistic identical twin without the other one being autistic…unless you’re going to explain away some parts of their genetics. maybe one got vaccinated and one didn’t? Autism is said to be triggered by something, what could you use?

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