(Image: Chapter 1, A Not-So-Little Shock: Bennie and her team mates play soccer on the field as storm clouds roll in overhead)
We begin! The first chapter of Shadowchild is now available on Wattpad and Tumblr, ready to read.
I wondered what I should write my first blog post about, and decided, since this is the beginning, we should talk about beginnings. It’s cliché, but also an old truth, that the beginning of the story is the hardest part to write. It’s also true you should worry less about refining it until after you finish the rest of the story or at least until you’ve made considerable progress, enough to know you’re going to finish the work.
Anyone who read the first edition of Shadowchild will see that a lot of this chapter is different in this version, primarily the fact that Bennie already knows Perce, and that her father passed away after she was born, rather than before. Why the change? I decided that Bennie having a rapport with Perce made more sense than his mysterious, and in hindsight suspicious, appearance out of the blue. I wanted more logic as well as mystery this time.
Curiously enough, this new version of events isn’t new at all. It’s derived directly from the earliest drafts, preserved in a journal I kept from my sophomore year of high school. I wrote that version, back then in first person, while sitting in Jim’s restaurant with my sister, drinking coffee and throwing objects back and forth over the wall with our friends in the kitchen.
While my memory works well enough that I didn’t need to refer to the journal for notes on the original beginning (and I hope my writing is considerably better than it was back then!), I kept the journal, and I suggest if you’re a writer or want to be a writer, keep your old work too. It may make you cringe to look at it sometimes, but you never know when you might find a forgotten idea or plot point that fits better later on, or in my case, an old version that made more sense than the new one. Also, you can see how much progress you’ve made! Plus, more often than not there’s something lost in your archives that will make you laugh.
So have fun reading, have fun writing, and tune back in next week for chapter two!