Any author who has ever edited knows the strange dread / relief that comes with deciding to do a complete rewrite. Some authors even have complete rewrites as part of their natural writing process. That is, they write one draft, put it aside, and write a completely new draft without really looking at the first.
That’s not me.
I’m a plotter. From the first outline to the final version, I usually keep it to the same document (or at least the illusion of the same document with some ‘saved as…’ renaming). So, writing and putting it aside for anything but a passage of time to make edits easier makes me uneasy. Massive edits aren’t unusual, but rewrites are completely blank slates – at least visually.
Still, with the challenge I’ve set myself, a rewrite seems crazy. The alternative, however, was worse. Editing can only do so much, and I want these releases to be good.
The book in question, Iron Muse (previously HEIR QUEST), is a young adult portal fantasy with a sarcastic and neutral evil protagonist. While I won’t get too far in depth, there were some issues I had with how the MC interacted with the magical world (i.e. Faerie), but the biggest problem came from the first chapter. Neutral evil lends itself to like finding like. They aren’t necessarily going to work alone. Chaotic evil most likely will, and lawful evil is pretty much the most ‘team work’ friendly of that line, but neutral evil – in my mind – knows how to do both. They are willing to work together if they can improve their chances.
I also originally wrote the book as the first in a series. The rewrite create a standalone where there are no foreshadowing of future magical world incidents. The MC, who is named Cal, has the beginnings of a mafia under her command. She’s starting small, but there’s the foundations for an empire. However, she hasn’t murdered anyone yet. A lot of lying, stealing, etc. No murder. I really wanted to explore her transformation from a relatively mild neutral evil (Artemis Fowl) to fully fledged young Moriarty.
If any of you think Artemis Fowl (first book especially) isn’t neutral evil but another alignment (perhaps chaotic), I’d love to see your reasoning in the comments below.
Either way, rewriting might just drive me insane, but it’s definitely worth it.