Tuesday, 21 January 2014

So how is progress with The Ancestor's Tale, the fourth book in The Sefuty Chronicles.

Actually, not so good.

I first realized the trouble I was in last summer, when I found, with careful contemplation,that what I was struggling with was in fact two books. They had inadvertently merged together. Now how has that happened?

I believe the problem was caused by the prolonged interruption in the writing of it, caused by illness. Some of the more minor characters had had time to think of themselves, time to enlarge and run away with their own tales.

Those characters were a handful of children.
And they weren't even dead!
So they didn't belong in the book titled The Ancestor's Tale!

Eventually I had to face facts and work out a plan to save this fourth Chronicle.
Drastic plans.

I dismantled the many thousands of words I had already written, 90,000 of them.
Painstakingly untangle the two separate stories.
Sat down to decide what could be salvaged from the wreck.

After a couple of weeks of pondering and pottering around the garden, I decided the children needed the limelight and in fact they should do so in The Children's Tale. I had approximately 30,000 words for this new tale. What to do with the rest, I didn’t want to lose the ancestors, their story was important too. They have been moved over to a new book Companion Tales, I had begun planning this book in 2012, they would provide most of the backbone to this follow up book.

Companion Tales will be a series of short stories chronicling not just the ancestors, but also a few of the minor characters already mentioned in the previous books of the series, who in fact had had a fair amount to do with the story. So the Companion Tales would include Kennett Marshall and Gran in their early lives as well as the geneticist who medals with the DNA. Along with a few characters from The Children’s Tale.


The new Children's Tale, which is to be the fourth in the series, deals with the first-generation of mongrels. The children of Bixs and Jack, and their siblings and friends. Born outside of the City in a time of violence and war, trying to make sense of where they belong, where their loyalties lie. I have decided that in fact this does actually make a better fourth book. The story continues the end of Jack's Tale more smoothly than the Ancestors would have done. This leads me to wonder whether our brains are cleverer than we are. Well of course they are, we know this, Somewhere in the deep recesses of my tired, ill, mind my brain knew as I was straying along the wrong path. In those hours that I spent on my bed, not being able to do anything except let my brain go along its own sweet way The Children's Tale took off.

It sounds simple written like this,

Dismantle, untangle, resurrect.

However, another problem with the writing of this book, caused by my long illness, is the fact that what I am working with words which have been written over a long period of time, some typed, some dictated, depending on how much energy I had. Some indeed hand written. They have been written when I have been feeling optimistic and well, they have also been written when the opposite has been true. Editing these words is proving to be a new challenge. I can manage the different character’s voices, but which of mine am I producing?

Now at the beginning of 2014 real deep editing has begun. This has been the longest period of time spent writing a book, it began at the beginning of 2012. I think it will in fact be a better book due to this length of time,the amount of daydreaming and thought that has gone into it. We will see what editing will do with it, whether or no I can in fact edit the separate versions to become one whole.

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