Obsessive Writing Compulsion (Paladin Rewrite Update)


So I’ve been on a bit of a writing binge lately (we’re talking over 12K words in a week, which for me, is like, crazy, yo), and I finally feel like I can give you a leedle update on how my rewrite is going.
Side effect of obsessive writing compulsion: sleep deprivation. Side effect of sleep deprivation: mild insanity. You have been warned.
So yeah. The rewrite. I was stuck in a rut for a few months for a few reasons (one being my love life…met a wonderful guy, and he was distracting. But! He moved away. Sad for me, good for my writing). Besides that, I’ve been generally lacking in motivation.
Finally I think I’ve gotten into the groove with this new version of the story. The story is coming much more easily now (before it was a struggle just to come up with a couple hundred words, and now my fingers are struggling to keep up with my brain).
I’m about 25K words into my rewrite, and I have to say, I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out. I can tell my writing has improved and I’m confident the dialogue is snappy.
BUT…because everything with writing must have a but…I’m nervous. Nervous how all of y’all who love the version of Paladin I have up on Wattpad will receive it.
I didn’t realize, I think, how dramatically different the rewrite would be. You all know that I was asked to add in new layers and characters and subplots, and that has had a very significant impact on the pace of the story. To put it into perspective, I’ve written 25,000 words, and Sam just ran away from Haywood in the most recent chapter. She hasn’t decided she wants to become a Paladin yet (that’s coming) and the road between Haywood and The Center (renamed, btw, because “The Center” is a lame name for a capitol city) is not a straight one.  We’ve already met Tristan, but Braeden is still a good 5-10,000 words out of the picture.
When I’ve talked to folks about the rewrite in the past, I’ve told them to think of it as a prequel. If I had to guess, I think something like 60-70% of the book will take place before Sam and crew head west for the Diamond Coast.
But a prequel is not an entirely accurate description. The sequence of events, out of necessity, has had to change. So have some of the character motivations. And the introduction of new characters and plot threads has had more consequences than I anticipated.
For example: Sam’s mother isn’t dead at the start of the story. That majorly affects Sam’s relationship with her father (the duke) and perhaps more significantly, her view of love and romantic relationships.
Sam also isn’t completely friendless. In the Wattpad version, I described her as having few friends—which I think is still true—but I didn’t think it was realistic that she’d spend 18 years in Haywood without making any friends. She’s weird, but she’s a good person. Even outcasts have a friend or two (I’m speaking as a former outcast). So I’ve introduced a friend for her, Will, who has a minor but important role. I have to say, I’m getting a kick out of his character. I really like the dynamic between them.  Here’s a quick snippet:
She slung an arm around Will’s shoulders. “Cheer up.”
He shrugged her off. “Don’t you ever get tired of winning?”
She grinned. “No.”
“Well, I’m tired of losing. It gets depressing, you know.” He looked at her sideways. “I suppose you don’t know.”
“You defeated Owen just yesterday,” Sam pointed out gently. “Handily, too.”
“I did, didn’t I?” He threw her a lopsided smile.
D’oh! I went off on a tangent. The point is, the first 25,000 – and possibly the first 50,000 – words are entirely new content. Not reworded content, new. You will meet the people who enable Sam’s escape from Haywood…
Emont’s coach waited for her a mile down the road from the castle. The peddler himself leaned against the carriage, watching her approach. He had lit a lantern, but his clothes were so bright she could have seen him without it. He was taller than she remembered, thin all over but for a slight paunch. A fading bruise across his cheek served as the only remaining evidence of the bandits’ attack. “Lady Samantha,” he said. His voice was no longer hoarse, but sonorous and full. “I half-hoped you wouldn’t come.” (FYI, my agent hasn’t edited this paragraph yet. So it could change.)
…And you’ll witness her journey with them. You’ll also get a lot more detail on how Sam learns to fake being a boy. The Paladin Trials won’t be a quick chapter anymore; they’ll take up a relatively significant portion of the book.
So why am I nervous? Well, I’m afraid that a lot of you are going to freak the !@#$ out. I’m afraid the story will be so different you’ll hate it. I’m afraid you’ll be upset when some of the most memorable events from Paladin are delayed until the second book. I’m afraid that this story won’t stand up to the original.
I personally think that the story I’m writing now is stronger (and Mommy Slater agrees! That’s one!). But I’ve also come to realize that I’m essentially writing a new book. A book that has the same characters, the same feel to it, the same major themes, the same general direction…but a different story to tell. There will be overlap, but for better or for worse, most of the story will be new to you.
I’ve still got a lot left of my rewrite to go (oh, a good 80,000 words…), so who knows where the story will take me. I hope people see the book as an opportunity to read a new story about characters they already love. After all, the original version of Paladin remains up on Wattpad for anyone who wants to read it. So it’s kind of like a bonus, right? Right?
Zzzzzzz.

24 Comments

  1. Oh i’m sure we will all love the new version! In the version that’s up on Wattpad, I felt that the story moved fast and I would have liked to get a deeper glimpse at Sam and how she ended up as a Paladin. I think a deeper story that is broken into two (or more) books will be awesome. We get more Paladin anyways so what’s not to love!?

    1. I hope everyone shares the same opinion you do! That makes me feel a bit better about it. It’s a little nerve wracking – I’m so used to posting things and getting immediate feedback on Wattpad, so sometimes I feel like I’m writing in a vacuum.

  2. I’m really excited for this! I think it will be interesting to get a deeper insight on Sam’s life, and I’m definitely looking forward to a longer version. I know you’ll do great, so don’t worry. I don’t think I can ever hate anything Paladin related!

  3. Hey, as long as Sam and Braeden still get together, I’ll be just fine. 😀 But I’m sure your fans – including me – will love the rewrite. It sounds as if you’re going much more into detail this time around, which is great! And delaying the big events just means we’ll be even more eager for the next book. (^_^)

  4. With every re-write comes good & bad changes. Writing MORE does not necessarily mean it’s going to bad. Of course the story will change, but as long as the main ideas are still there, people are going to be just fine :)

  5. The thing about re-writes is that they’re supposed to add something that’s missing. Your agent has pointed out some issues, and while I personally loved reading Paladin the first time around (couldn’t put it down, spent an all-nighter and a sleepless day just reading it) then I don’t think fans of the story will oppose to hearing more about WHY Sam’s life is the way they are. They won’t hate seeing some more of Tristan and Braeden, and I’m sure they’ll love Will, as well. If anything, we can always have hawt dreams about him since Sam snags Braeden. 😛

    I get the worry, but new content are good too. When you love a book, you have a hard time letting go of the characters, and you’re basically giving us more. So I find no reason to complain :)

    1. You leave the best blog comments! You should consider being a motivational speaker 😛

      Yeah, it’s definitely a lot more focused on the WHY (I think you’ve seen a few chapters of it, but its changed quite a bit since what I’ve sent you)…I imagine it’s going to get revised a few times before it’s anywhere near ready for publishing anyway.

  6. Ok, new comment :)

    I think all your true fans will love the re-write just as much, if not more! We’ll get to know our favourite characters better, spend more time with em, and even meet some new folks! And of course, as long as Sam and Braeden get together, I’m sure this book will be sold-out worldwide 😀 Happy writing!

    1. Ha, I thought I accidentally deleted the comment for a second, but realized the author was you 😛 Thanks for the encouragement…don’t know about the sold out worldwide thing, but here’s to hoping!

  7. I think it would be absolutely great!.
    Your writing style was already really good in the wattpad version.
    Nice and clean and a easy read.
    I always hoped you would rewrite it into a bigger version.
    It can never be a bad thing to improve your book and your writing.
    Means that for us there is more to read!
    More to learn about every character and so on.
    I’m really looking forward to it!
    In the mean time i’ll keep re-reading the wattpad version! :)

    Goodluck and keep going!!
    Paladin is one of the most exiting stories i’ve read in awhile.

    1. Yes, this version will definitely be much bigger, and longer, and hopefully better! I do feel like my writing is getting stronger…hopefully the plot is too!

      Thanks for the well wishes!

  8. I (and I’m sure many others) have complete faith in your ability to create wonderful entertaining works. I look forward to devouring this next book of yours.Trust in your gift to please others- its worked so far-hasn’t it?
    Ro…

  9. I can’t wait for the rewrite! I really want more Sam and Braeden. I love them together, and I feel like their relationship could be fleshed out more and go deeper. I want to be yelling at them to get together while crying because they love each other and they are so perfect. In the beginning there was emphasis on Sam connecting with Braeden because they are both struggling with who they are and who they were born as. I didn’t see as much later on, but I think you should continue that theme. Maybe that’s for the second book though!

    1. Hey Sarah – thanks so much for the lovely comment! I must confess to slacking a bit on my rewrite (about halfway through), but I’ve gotten the writing itch again which is good news for me (and for Braeden and Sam).

      I’ll see what I can do about my smutty stories…

    2. You are one of my favorite authors, so your reply absolutely made my day. It feels like seeing your favorite movie star on the street and striking up a conversation. You are entirely welcome for the comment!

      Since commenting, I read the book again (yes, I am aware that I have a problem) and noticed that you actually do continue the theme of not being able to control what you were born. I guess I just missed it the first time around!

      Every time I get a notification on Wattpad I hope that it is an update to the restricted stories. It is my guilty pleasure! I guess once you fall in love with characters you just can’t get enough of them.

  10. This is why I love rewrites. Lots more to learn about, and, sure, it may be different than the story I’m used to but I;m so excited to see it! Wish I could pre-prder, but alas this broke college girl has no more money to spare at the moment. I cannot wait to read the official book! Good luck!! :)

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