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Oakbrook Portal on Wattpad

I’ve finished the rewrites for the first Portal book, and you can now read the initial draft of Oakbrook Portal on Wattpad. The entire novel is there, and I’d love to hear what you think. I have also entered the manuscript into the Watty’s competition.

There’s a new cover, the title has changed, and may change again – I’m still pondering that.

Oakbrook Portal on Wattpad

You can read Oakbrook Portal on Wattpad, while the original version is here. The original is still available through Amazon, but I’m planning on trying to remove all versions before seeing the new one published. I am also submitting the new version to publishers before I think about self publishing again.

Initial feedback suggests the new version is stronger, richer, somehow – which was my aim! Large chunks of the original story have been cut. The character ensemble has been trimmed. The result is a story rich in character, with better flow of action, and more magic.

So, I hope you’ll read the story, comment, vote, and let me know what you think. I have never been easily offended, and all feedback is welcome. My only proviso is that I ask you to please keep your comments civil and constructive. Oh, and I reserve the right to only make use of the comments I feel will work for my story.

Click away, read on, and enjoy. I’ll carry on working on the next book while I wait for your reactions.

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Rewrites are evil

For NaNo2019 I decided to be a rebel. I’ve not been completely happy with the Portal series for a long time, and NaNo gave me the push to start work. Can I say, rewrites are evil.

The best way to rewrite a piece, is to literally start with a fresh document and write the story again. So, that’s what I did. In proper NaNo tradition, I opened a blank document on the first of November and started writing. I knew the characters, the story, this should be easy, right? I even had a new cover, that needs changing too.

rewrites are evil

But no, it was hard, really, really, hard. I came across poor writing, did I really think that was good? There were whole sections of filler, pointless action that gave nothing to the plot or characters. I deleted more than I wrote. Characters no longer exist, characters changed gender, appearance. Relationships morphed into something different. Plot development scenes moved in the timeline. Place names needed to be changed when I realised my fictional town actually exists. Sorry, Wingate. With each change, tiny or huge, came an avalanche of other changes.

The sheer volume of characters proved impossible to balance, so several got culled. Some were simply superfluous. Other characters from later in the story would have been present, so they got an earlier introduction. More had to be given more depth, more identity.

It’s like writing the first book from scratch, again, with someone looking over your shoulder and telling you it’s wrong. The cascade of changes ripples through the narrative, washing away large sections, changing the course of the story.

Rewrites are evil, but necessary. I think I have a better book. It’s shorter, by about 20,000 words. In a couple of days it’ll be ready to send out to the first readers, trusted friends who will give an honest opinion.

I’m half expecting, “you changed it, I don’t like it.” But we will see. With luck, the new edition could be ready for release later this year. Then those snowball changes mean the other books will need to be rewritten too. Wish me luck.

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