The First Draft

Welcome to the Day 2 of The Belgrave Legacy Blog Series. The series spans from September 20, 2016 to November 1, 2016. Each week, there will be a theme with 2 blog posts (Tuesday and Thursday).

In case you missed Day 1‘s post, this week’s theme is Beginnings.

Everyone knows that a published book looks nothing like it’s first draft. This, of course, excludes writing sites (like Wattpad or Figment, etc) where people will sometimes post a first (or an early) draft in order to test readers’ reactions and sometimes even to create a critique/workshop environment with the intention of gathering notes to incorporate into the next revision. For example, I am doing this with my current WIP, The Matchmakers.

Today, I’m going to share how much has changed from the first draft of The Belgrave Legacy (though at the time, each part was an individual book in a trilogy).

Because 7 is an important number in my book, I’m going to only include 7 instances:1. Chapter names

​I know that this may seem like a minor thing, but really only one part of the plot changed from the first draft of Part 1: The Belgrave Daughter (and that’s #2 in this list). The chapter names was a big deal for me to get rid of because I spent a lot of time titling them, only to decide that they spoiled the plot too much (despite being as vague as possible).

The first two chapters also became inverted in the final version of The Belgrave Legacy, and the 19 chapters in the original draft were condensed/edited down to only 11 (which you can get for free when you subscribe to my mailing list—see the bottom of this post for the form)

2. Fawn’s attempted “suicide”

Yes, you read that correctly. When I first wrote The Belgrave Daughter, I was in a dark place (because my grandmother had died—again, read Day 1 of this blog series), and this is what came out of it. And even though some people didn’t like this plot point, I kept this in all the way until I decided to make The Belgrave Legacy a single book, rather than a trilogy.

I took it out because it was a full stop where I now needed a softer cliffhanger, more of an exciting segue than an unexpected curtain fall. I know many readers will be happy about the way it reads now, and I can’t say I’m sad to see such a dark plot point eliminated.​

3. Fawn’s amnesia

This follows the previous entry on this list, but is technically from Tears of an Angel (part 2 of The Belgrave Legacy). As a result of a forgetting spell Fawn cast at the end of The Belgrave Daughter—one that required a blood sacrifice, which is why Fawn almost dies—she goes into a magic coma. After some difficulty, she wakes up, but has no memory of meeting Caleb or anything after (including all her magic lessons).

As much as it was sort of re-do button, it allowed readers to slowly be reacquainted with the two main characters’ romance after presumably forgetting parts of the first “book,” and also provided the calm before the storm (or, more aptly, before “shit hit the fan”). But like its predecessor, when all 3 books became parts in a single novel, I needed to cut this or risk immediately  killing my middle.

4. Viktor’s POV

In the original version of Tears of an Angel, I wasn’t going to feature Lucifer at all. Viktor and the Hunters were the main villain in the second book, and because of that, I was going to give Fawn’s classmate his own POV like I had for Lucifer. But when I merged all three sections into one book, I realized I needed Lucifer to be present in all three books, not just the assumption that he was off somewhere plotting. So, Lucifer came back, and Viktor merely became another pawn in the game—without his own POV.

5. Ose

In the third book of the trilogy, I needed Fawn and co to fight a danger as they prepared to fight Lucifer again (the “boss battle,” if you will). And, as you will see in the next entry on this list, Fawn starts recruiting in Prophecy (formerly The Witch’s War), and I figured that while the Devil doesn’t really have to recruit people—he has every hellion at his command—I thought it would be cool for him to start unleashing some of the more powerful demons, even princes of Hell, on Fawn. And in came Ose, the prince of Hell associated with insanity. Up until now, most of the obstacles have been physical ones, and I thought a mental one would balance it out very nicely.

When all three books were merged, I decided this wasted valuable time and opted to first minimize, and eventually cut this section.

6. Dylan’s late introduction

​I mentioned Fawn recruiting, and the main new addition to Team Fawn is a pack of werewolves, specifically one named Dylan who Alec and Fawn had known back in middle school. An advance reader had noted that it was strange to have him appear right before the battle, and disappear right after. I took this to heart and decided to add him in (albeit only in a phone call) to Tears of an Angel before he makes his original physical appearance in Prophecy.

7. Epilogue

I went back and forth on having an epilogue in a story that already had a prologue and an end that resolved the story without any glaring loose ends. What made me finally decide to add it was because even though I had finished the main story arc, the characters wouldn’t leave me alone until I had written this final send off for them. I kept it short and sweet, but it still just plugs that final hole.

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