Revising old work into something new

The last few months have been sort of challenging for me.   I’ve been trying to maintain a decent university GPA while trying to make a living while trying to get over some health issues.  In the back of my head since the beginning of December, I’ve been feeling the urge to work on  Shadowfighter again.  For those of you unfamiliar with it, Shadowfighter is the novel I wrote in tenth grade.  It was handwritten, and I’ll admit that over half of it was written in Mr. Jensen’s world history class.  (It wasn’t that I wasn’t interested in history, but rather that it came more easily to me than most of my classmates, but I digress.)   It followed the journey of Erin Allen from naive, stupid 15-year-old, to awesome warrior woman.

Or at least that’s what I thought when I was 16 and writing this.

Now that I’ve gone back and read it again, I can see that there is definitely room for improvement.   Erin was whiny and sheltered and maybe even a little spoiled.  My villains were two-dimensional.   Thomas was SO EMO IT HURT.  My secondary characters weren’t nearly as developed as they could have been.  The plot was really pretty cliché.  In spite of all this, I think it was a fantastic work for a 16-year-old girl to pull off.  425 handwritten pages with a clear story that flowed pretty well and characters that I could identify with in my teenage mind, combined with mechanics and spelling that I don’t see in some people my current age.

The point is, it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t bad at all.  It was just immature, and underdeveloped.  More than that, it was good enough to provide a decent foundation for the ideas that are beginning to form in my head again.  It is the sort of story that could very easily capitalize on the Twilight market.  I’d be a fool not to take advantage of this fact.

The biggest challenge I think I’m facing here is that it is so long originally, and the plot meanders.  There’s a whole section, about eighty pages, that really could just be cut out except for the fact that it sets up what happens in the rest of the book.  I have to figure out how to streamline the plot, how to get rid of that section and still set up the rest of the conflict.   It’s a daunting task, and a good deal of what’s in the book is just more meandering.  Nobody cares about endless training of the hero.  There’s a reason that montages exist! [“Eye of the Tiger” starts playing in the background]

It has potential.  I’m really starting to feel it again.  I just hope I can take this and run with it before I run out of energy.

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