New Life for Old Projects

I have a short story due in about a week for the Fantasy Intensive next weekend, plus a few gaming articles to get done in the next couple of weeks and incorporating the editors suggestions for the gaming supplement we wrote. Those have my full attention. Plus I have a long list of other things on my plate.

After speaking with both groups (romance and SFF), I think I finally see a way to move forward with my ancient Alexandria book. I am going to revise one of the protagonists to make him a stronger person and give him more personality.

I’ve been dithering for a few years with whether the magic Tzipporah seeks is real. I’ve decided to make it real, which moves this story from straight historical to magical historical. Hovering on the edge was interesting to me, but it will make it a lot harder to place in a genre. This also gives me an opportunity I didn’t have before, which is to explore the contrasts between magic from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, ancient Judaism, and Phoenician magic. They all come into conflict in ancient Alexandria. While I’m working on other things, I’ll do some research on those.

Both my critique group and my romance group helped me face my fears about offending people so that I could move forward with this. I’m grateful for that. This enabled me to move the book from hold to place it in the list of things I’m actively working on. The first step will be to reassess the beginning, rewrite Rueben’s sections, rewrite Tzipporah’s sections, and modify the family relationships, which were always shaky.

One thing I’ve figured out is that this book is adventure with a romance subplot rather than a romance with an adventure subplot. Three years ago when I started this book, I wouldn’t have known how to tell the difference. The learning I’ve done since then really helps.

I’m hopeful that the fantasy intensive I take next week will help me further with this. Of course there are other books and stories ahead of it, but I’m pleased to be dusting it off to work on again. I finally feel ready.

I hope you are also finding new ways to look at old things. Be well, friends!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. You’re going to offend people no matter what you do. Some people just want to find ways to be offended.

    When I was writing with a cowriter, he convinced me that we should submit our Civil War action adventure to a friend who had published romance. She stopped reading on page 70 and sent back two pages of scathing comments. My first reaction was that she hated the story, really hated it. Didn’t know why. Eventually cowriter came back and told me she was vehemently anti-gun. On page 70, the main character pulled a gun on another character. Writer knew the book was set during the Civil War and that it was an action-adventure thriller. Could have said, “Not my kind of story,” and I would have been fine. Instead, she read it, got offended, and took it out on the story.

    My grandmother said this is an age thing. There’ll be a point where worrying about offending people won’t matter any more.

    1. I’ve experienced that in reverse. One of my reading groups who do not read romance hated one of my romance novel beginnings. On the other hand, my romance group loved it. So very much different strokes.

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