Sunday, March 25, 2012

Changing a MS -- Crimson Moon

I've gotten a few comments/emails about the revised edition of Crimson Moon and how I'm changing the manuscript. Let me start by saying this: The story will remain the same. However, the book does have issues and I want to strengthen the material if at all possible. How? It's a combination of cutting, revising, and re-writing. If you're curious, I've included two snippets below. You can see what I'm up to and what you can expect.

**I've intentionally chosen the scene I based this story from. I had a vision in my head while driving one day and came home and started writing.**

Old Version:

“Get behind me.”

Caleb’s voice was the most welcome thing my ears had ever heard. I did as instructed, slowly stepping backward. I didn’t break eye contact with the two creatures snarling and snapping, too horrified to look away.

Caleb’s large silhouette appeared in the corner of my left eye. He came around, closing the distance and providing a barrier from the two werewolves ready to shred me apart if presented the opportunity. They snarled louder, growls becoming vicious and angry, matching their non-human lupine faces.

One launched forward, throwing a punch which Caleb deflected harmlessly. The other attempted to deliver a blow as well, aiming for the midsection. Caleb maneuvered effortlessly out of the way, keeping his body in place, continuing to separate them from me. They persisted, making small passes, waiting for an opportunity to strike.

They chose to move together, the one on the left striking out while the one to the right tackled Caleb into the sand. They began to hit him violently, fists flying.

I glanced around in panic, searching for anything I could use. The ladder caught my attention.

If I could be fast enough, and pull a piece free, I could use it as a weapon.

I started forward, unsure of what to do but unable to bear standing by to watch the carnage.

A firm hand gripped my shoulder, startling me.

“Don’t do that darlin’,” Billy whispered. “A man’s got to have his pride.”

I watched helplessly as Caleb attempted to deflect the blows that rained down on his shoulders and back. I averted my head and closed my eyes, fighting back sickness.

I didn’t want to see Caleb’s blood staining the walls and sand.

Energy surged through the pit, brushing painfully across my skin, nearly knocking me over. I gasped and stumbled, remaining on my feet by Billy’s hand locked onto my shoulder. A deep growl rent the air and the force in the room intensified and shifted. The hair on my arms stood on end as the crowd above erupted into absolute chaos.

I opened my eyes and glanced up.

The rail was completely full now, bodies surging against the railing to watch. Men and women stared down, snarling and cheering, their words mangled and distorted.

The blonde girl who knocked me over was still there. Her eyes—like all the others—glowed strangely and shifted color. Her lips quavered as she chanted along with everyone else.

I glanced back down, searching for the source of the growl.

Caleb was no longer on the ground. His body contorted under his black t-shirt, the muscles in his arms expanding as his body grew and doubled in size. I gasped at the incomprehensible thing I was witnessing and Billy patted my shoulder in understanding.

“It’s all right. He’s a big boy, and they done pissed him off.”

Caleb punched the one on his right, sending him reeling through the air, his body making solid contact with the bloodied wall. A nasty crunch vibrated in my ears and he crumpled unmoving to the sand.

Caleb moved swiftly, rushing the other werewolf and grasping him by the throat. He forced him back, pushing his body against the blood stained wall.

The sound in the room increased, voices mingling together. People yelled out frantically, tones garbled and thick.

The werewolf kicked feebly as he used his arms, attempting to deliver blows to get free. Caleb deflected each with his free hand, until the movements became sluggish and uncoordinated, before coming to a stop all together.

Caleb stepped back, releasing his hold and opening his fingers. The man crumbled to the ground, legs dropping from underneath as he slumped. The crowd erupted in cheers as the energy eased from of the pit.

I sighed in relief. My skin wasn’t tingling painfully under the jacket any longer.

“See, no harm done,” Billy offered comfortingly, removing his steadying hand.

I watched Caleb’s back. His arms slowly receded, muscles returning to normal. His frame shifted and his bones cracked into place. I envisioned him closing his eyes, taking deep and measured breaths as he fought that struggle within. He lifted his arms, raking hands through his thick hair. He turned around, brushing the sand free from his shirt and keeping his eyes downcast as he approached.

He was embarrassed. For some reason, having me witness this upset him.

“Thank you,” I whispered.

Emotion strained my voice and I smiled at him, crossing the space between us. He lifted his chin, gazing at me, shimmering ice blue staring back. It was different than the indigo I’d grown used to, but lovely nonetheless.

He waited until I was inches away and he reached for me, lightly touching my arm.

His voice was thick and hoarse. “We should make this look legitimate.”

He didn’t give me the opportunity to consider his words as he bent down, wrapping his arm around my waist and lifting me against his chest. His head bent as his mouth found my own.

If I thought Caleb smelled delicious, he tasted even better. His lips were full and soft as they brushed against mine, and my reserve melted away.

I lifted my arms around his shoulders, hands entwining in silken hair. I lost myself in the strange and irresistible pull that existed between us. I had only kissed one other person in my life, and the experience didn’t even compare.

Everything but Caleb fell away in that moment.

It was just him and I, our bodies impossibly close together.

“That a girl.” Billy’s voice barely registered in my ears. “I’d say he earned it.”

New Version:

“Get behind me.”

Caleb’s voice was the most welcome thing I had ever heard. I did as instructed, slowly stepping backward. I didn’t break eye contact with the two creatures snarling at me, too horrified to look away. Caleb’s large silhouette appeared in the corner of my eye. He came around, providing a barrier from the two werewolves ready to shred me to pieces if given an opportunity. They snarled louder, growls becoming vicious, matching their lupine faces.

One threw a punch which Caleb deflected harmlessly. The other attempted to deliver a blow as well, aiming for Caleb’s midsection. Caleb stepped effortlessly out of the way but kept his body in place, separating them from me. They persisted, making small passes, waiting for an opportunity to strike. The one on the left lashed out and the one to the right tackled Caleb to the sand. They started to hit him brutally, fists flying.

I glanced around in panic, searching for anything I could use. The ladder caught my attention. If I could pull a piece free, I could use it as a weapon. I started forward, unsure of what to do but unable to stand by and watch the carnage.

A firm hand gripped my shoulder, startling me.

“Don’t do that darlin’,” Billy said softly. “A man’s got to have his pride.”

I watched helplessly as Caleb attempted to deflect the blows that rained down on his shoulders and back. I averted my head and closed my eyes, fighting back sickness.

I didn’t want to see Caleb’s blood staining the walls and sand.

Energy surged through the pit, brushing painfully across my skin, nearly knocking me over. I gasped and stumbled, remaining on my feet with Billy’s help. A deep growl rent the air. The pandemonium in the room intensified and shifted. The hair on my arms stood on end as the crowd erupted in absolute chaos.

I opened my eyes and glanced up.

The rail was completely full now, people surging against the railing. Men and women stared down, snarling and cheering, their words distorted. The blonde girl who’d knocked me over was still there. Her eyes—like all the others—glowed strangely and shifted color. Her lips quivered as she chanted along with everyone else. I lowered my gaze and searched for the source of the growl that drowned out the noises in the room.

Oh my God.

Caleb. The noise was coming from Caleb.

And he was no longer on the ground.

His body contorted under his black T-shirt, the muscles in his arms bulging as his body doubled in size. I gasped at the incomprehensible thing I was witnessing and Billy patted my shoulder.

“It’s all right. He’s a big boy, and they done pissed him off.”

Caleb punched the one on his right in the chest, sending the man reeling through the air. His body made solid contact with the bloodied wall. A nasty snap vibrated in my ears and he crumbled unmoving to the sand.

Caleb moved swiftly, rushing the other werewolf and grasping him by the throat. He forced the man back, pushing his body against the blood stained wall. The sound in the room increased, voices mingling together. People yelled out, eager for blood. The werewolf kicked feebly as he used his arms, attempting to deliver blows to get free. Caleb deflected each with his free hand, until the man’s movements became sluggish. Before long the werewolf’s arms fell to his sides and he slumped.

Caleb stepped back, releasing his hold. The man sank to the ground, legs folding as he hit the sand. The crowd erupted in cheers, and the strange energy I felt eased from of the pit. I sighed in relief, my skin no longer tingling under the jacket.

“See, no harm done,” Billy said and let me go.

I watched Caleb’s back. The muscles in his arms slowly receded and returned to normal. His frame shifted and his bones cracked into place. I envisioned him closing his eyes, taking deep and measured breaths as he fought for control. He lifted his arms and raked his hands through his hair. When he turned around, he brushed sand from his shirt and walked toward me and Billy, keeping his eyes lowered.

He’s embarrassed.

For some reason having me witness this upset him.

“Thank you,” I whispered, emotion straining my voice.

Caleb lifted his head and gazed at me with shimmering ice blue eyes. The color was different than the indigo I’d grown used to, but lovely nonetheless. He waited until I was inches away before he reached out and touched my arm.

“We should make this look legitimate.”

He didn’t give me the opportunity to consider his words as he bent down, wrapping his arm around my waist and lifting me against his chest. His head bent and his mouth descended.

If I thought Caleb smelled delicious, he tasted even better. His lips were full and soft as they pressed against mine, and my reserve melted away. I looped my arms around his neck, my hands gliding into his silken hair. I lost myself in the strange and irresistible pull that existed between us. I had only kissed one other person in my life, and the experience didn’t even compare.

Everything but Caleb fell away in that moment.

It was just the two of us, our bodies impossibly close together.

“That a girl.” Billy’s voice barely registered, seeming far away. “I’d say he earned it.”

***

I hope you enjoy the new version. I'm busting my arse to get the manuscript in order. Please forgive any typos you might find. This is version zero. After I wrap this up the book will be off to my CPs and Betas and then I'll give the MS another go.

4 comments:

Scott Romanski said...

Subtle change. Nice

Danielle Blanchard Benson said...

I bought the old version. Should I repurchase the new version? By the way, love your new cover. ;-)

J.A. Saare / Aline Hunter said...

TY Scott!

Danielle ~ I'd say to return and wait. The old version is riddled with mistakes. The new one is much cleaner. TY! I loved the cover too. I was very excited to receive it.

Danielle Blanchard said...

Jamie, I waited too long as I purchased CM on the third of March but if you make any changes to the existing Kindle version, Amazon will allow us to update the changes. As long as you upload from the same ASIN number. I just thought I would share. ;-)