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The third day, May 7th: Post what you learned from this WIP. You become a stronger, more rounded writer which each manuscript and we want to know what this particular work taught you.
Shadow of the Two Kingdoms
Technically, Shadow... is not entirely shelved. I sent it out to a publisher who was specifically looking for epic fantasy 'cause you never know, you know? LOL
Anyway, in 2008, when I decided to learn about the publishing biz, I decided I wanted to finish Shadow. I had already written about 100 pages of material. So I started with worldbuilding. I drew maps of scenes, did character sketches, and researched structures, armor etc. I absorbed all of it. Then I started reading fantasy. As a kid, I used to love watching fantasy movies. Krull and The Sword & The Sorcerer were my favorites. So this is what I wanted to write.
After finding RA Salvatore Drzzt Series I was hooked. I read all of his books, studied his writing style, and built my vocabulary list. Then I began writing the complete first draft of Shadow. I became lost in my world, loved my characters, played with different action scenes and learned a lot!
I didn't do much in the revising stage thinking, well, yeah, it's perfect. LOL
However, after submitting to twenty agents I decided to shelve it.
Twenty agents? huh? Anyone who's been querying knows that twenty is just a first round of submissions. Well, unless your Stephanie Meyer. Maybe.
I realized two things...My manuscript wasn't original enough and it wasn't me.
One could argue that nothing is really "original". Everything's been done and then some. But the manuscript still has to stand out. I didn't feel mine had it.
And...it wasn't me. The writing, the voice, the characters weren't mine. They were composites of books I've read. Now, this is not a bad thing. In music we learn by playing other's music, in art we learn by imitiation, in writing we learn by studying the authors that have come before. Nothing wrong with that...it is how we grow, how we find our voice and style. Shadow was that for me. Through it I found my voice and style. I had to get this one out of the way to find it.
Now, I could go back and do a total rewrite--and that is still an option for me. But I've been busy writing. =)
A fellow blogger asked..."Is it easy to switch between contemporary and fantasy?"
So far, Shadow is the only epic fantasy I've written. I've written two YA Contemporary manuscripts. For me, writing YA Contemporary was easy because I didn't have to do a whole lot of research in the worldbuilding department. Though fantasy gives you some flexibility, the author still has to be governed by rules and limitations pertaining to the world you created and what the reader will believe. In Contemporary the world is known. I live in it...most of the time.
However, the conflict in my fantasy piece was heavily focused on external conflict, contemporary is more internal conflict. And that is more difficult to pull off.
Now, then, the question becomes...To rewrite or not to rewrite. =)
Thank you for following this series and reading. It was fun.