Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"It belongs in a museum!"

One thing I've learned about writing is that it takes courage--courage to put yourself "out" there and courage to write the words that come to you. And courage to learn when to let a book go, to realize it isn't ready to be published and needs to be filed away. Just like the Ark in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, sometimes a book has to sit in a box and languish indefinitely.

And I've finally found the courage to admit this about Cierra and the Sands of Tyne. The book has died. It's gone. Filed. Vanished from my sight. Officially called my Practice Novel and the Learning Curve.

Now, that's hard for me to admit because I was so attached to it--I had sequels planned, I slaved over the thing for around three years, and thought the world of the characters. But it had to happen.

And here's why:

Because out of its ashes has bloomed the story I really wanted to tell; the story with the same characters, the same world, but free of influence from any other YA book out there (including schools, dragons, and what-have-you). CSOT has ended up more backstory and I chose a different character for the new story's POV. It still has series potential but it feels like a smoother, more action-packed story (at least to me). And speaking of Indiana Jones, I suppose that's the only story it's similar to--there are orphans looking for a stone--though that wasn't intentional. Here's the first page that is slowly coming together (same disclaimer of rough writing as always):

Saige Silverswell stepped to the edge of the cliff and looked down. At the bottom of the ravine the mining village folded in between the silent sentinels of granite-covered mountain. The blackness of the rock made the country seem brooding and the chill in the air from a late spring didn’t help. Patches of snow sank deep into the rocky scree like morsels between the teeth of some great beast.

Saige shivered.

“And you are sure they’ll be expecting visitors?”

His father shrugged, his intense grey eyes not leaving the straw-roofed huts of the village.

“It does look a little quiet, but last year the chieftain said to come back in the spring when the Master Delver would be back and willing to barter the Emerald stone.”

“The Ironfisted Emerald,” breathed Saige. “And you really want to turn around and sell it? Not add it to your own horde?”

Coleson Silverswell laughed and tousled his son’s hair, though he had to reach up to do it. “Gemhunters are not in the business of keeping their stones, they’re in the business of making a profit off them.”

“Yes, but it’s such a rare stone….”

At sixteen, Saige felt proud that his father was beginning to make him a partner in the gem trade, but being new to the business, every sell still felt like losing a friend and every gain the return of a lost relative.


The writing isn't getting the attention it needs right now (because of the folktale project), but Saige is always there, in the back of my mind, just waiting for his chance to get on paper. As time goes on, we'll see what his book also mutates into and if it will get shelved as well. Today I'm just glad I've found the courage to admit its predecessor is done.

Farewell, Cierra's little book, farewell.


  1. is it hard to take the same characters and put them in a different setting? do you still see them as the same people, or are the totally different? just curious... i think i will have a hard time ever seeing them differently. I guess we shall see, as long as you let me read it (hint, hint)

  2. Same setting (world at least), different scenes. Really, it feels so natural, like it was meant to be.

    I love the picture, by the way. Cute little chubby hands...

    Oh, and I didn't mean yours. :)

  3. It is amazing to me how something at first glance seems so sad, but is actually room to grow and become more! Who knows, maybe someday you can go back and use the Sands of Tyne as backstory, like star wars! ;)