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An Observable Improvement

As I’m preparing to write the next blog post about my honeymoon in Europe, I decided to pause and share the following: the different opening paragraphs to SHADOW TWINS, starting from the very first draft when the story was titled THE FORGER. When I first started writing this I was a moderately experienced writer. When it came to understanding epic, secondary-world fantasy, however, I was pretty novice, having only read THE LORD OF THE RINGS. You can see the gradual improvement below.

Version A: THE FORGER (January 2015)

Theailys leaned against the granite exterior of the church, sighing as the cool Jul wind blew through his hair, briefly recounting the letter he’d received little more than sixth months ago.  There’d been so much fear in the lines, so much trepidation…yet the Ariathan army had triumphed, ending the greatest battle of his time.  On the 1st Szen of Nua, Dawn Year 1169, they’d sent the Darkener to its end, halting twenty years of war, led by General Anayela Lerubo.

Version B: THE FORGER (November 2015)

Theailys leaned against the granite exterior of the church, sighing as the cool Jul wind blew through his hair, briefly recounting the letter he’d received little more than six months ago. There’d been so much fear in the lines, so much trepidation, yet the Ariathan army had triumphed, ending the greatest battle of his time. On Nua 2nd, Dawn Year 1169, they’d sent the Darkener to its end, halting two decades of war, led by General Anayela Lerubo.

Version C: THE FORGER (January 2016)

Theailys leaned against the granite exterior of the church, sighing as the cool Jul wind blew through his hair, briefly recounting the letter he’d received little more than four months ago. There’d been so much fear in the lines, so much trepidation, yet the army had triumphed, ending the greatest battle of his time. Led by General Anayela Lerubo, they’d sent the Darkener to its end, halting two decades of war.

Version D: SHADOW TWINS (2017)

Theailys Àn had sleepwalked as a child, but this was starting to get out of hand. This was the fourth time in the last three days he’d come to in the woods, standing over a corpse. He groaned as the voices in his head began to giggle. That was the problem with being descended from demons—sometimes you did things beyond your control.

Version E: SHADOW TWINS (2017)

Theailys An retched and the odor was almost as profound as that of the corpse beside him. Its eyes were gouged out, the flesh around the sockets seared. Entrails hung from the belly and wispy threads of shadow twisted outward from the wounds. Where the legs had gone…who knew?

Version F: SHADOW TWINS (2018)

Theailys An retched and the odor was almost as foul as that of the mangled corpse a few feet from where he knelt. A fantastic way to ring in his thirtieth year, to be sure. He should have been surprised, horrified even, by the headless torso and the limbs strewn across the grass, by the gossamer threads of shadow leaking from the wounds—but he was not. His blackouts and the myriad mutilated bodies had become commonplace these last few years and it was hard to find shock in something so pervertedly routine.

I’m continuing revisions on SHADOW TWINS. The plot remains the same, though I’ve changed some of the key aspects of the story, and for the better. When the revising process is complete, I feel confident in saying this will be the SHADOW TWINS I envisioned from the beginning.

 

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