Behind The Draft

So, here’s a little extra for you guys.

I recently tweeted that just before posting Chapter 16, I ended up doing a fairly major rewrite on it at the last minute.  So what actually happened there?  Well the chapter was original written from Arsha’s point of view.  Whilst The Stolen Child relies pretty heavily on transition between Arsha and Rachael’s perspective on the story, knowing where to make those transitions has been a pretty major challenge.  With the exception of the opening chapters, I’ve tried not to switch back and forth too much, because I find that it’s better to give the audience a sense of continuity.  Changing perspective is always jarring.  After the events around the Shard Building (where we have a lot of rapid fire perspective shifts to really convey how chaotic and jumbled everything is during that acton sequence) I chose to settle into a calmer rhythm by staying with Rachael’s perspective for several chapters at a stretch.

In the original draft, the switch to Arsha’s perspective happened at the start of Chapter 16, with the idea being that we stay with Arsha for the next few chapters, before switching back to Rachael at a very particular moment. However, when I looked over the chapter one last time, I couldn’t escape the feeling that by showing the events from Arsha’s perspective we were losing a lot of the strength of Rachael’s decision at the end of the chapter. So I rewrote the chapter to give us the story from within Rachael’s headspace. I feel really happy with this choice, as it gives a much clearer sense of the choice she’s making and why (though it might be argued that I lay the point on a little heavily), and it allows me to get in some more foreshadowing throughout the chapter.

Since we’re still on hiatus until Monday, I decided instead that I’d give you guys a chance to see the original chapter, before the rewrite, and compare the differences. Maybe I made the wrong choice; maybe you all feel that the version from Arsha’s perspective works better. Let me know what you think. Whether you feel I made the right or the wrong choice, hopefully this can be something that you can use to help your own writing.

Don’t forget to come back on Monday for Chapter 17 – Distance.  I could be wrong, but I’ve got a strong feeling you’re not going to expect what’s coming 😉
Continue reading