A different approach

April 5, 2010 at 19:13 (1)

I did a re-edit of the first book of what will hopefully be my next long series after The Saga of Larten Crepsley. Even though I haven’t revealed what the series will be about (and won’t for quite a while yet, probably), I have mentioned on this blog before the fact that it deals with racism, especially in the first book. I sent the first three books to my agent recently, and while he liked the overall thrust of them, he was very concerned about the way I dealt with the racist angle in book 1. Basically, my initial approach was to use shock tactics — hit readers with a string of crude racist terms, to bring it out into the open and deal with the issue head-on. But as my agent pointed out, I went too far — it was like using a sledge hammer to drive home a thumb tack. While I won’t be ditching the attack on racism, it was necessary to come at it from a different angle, so as not to repulse readers and have them walk away without finishing the story — you can’t slip a message across to readers if you anger them so much that they get insulted and give up on you!!! So, either side of the Easter weekend, I did a new edit, re-thinking and re-working the story, not losing any of the anger or plea to readers to not go the way of racism, but reining it in so that they won’t feel like I’m preaching to them. It’s important as a writer to always be able to go back and re-jig your stories. You don’t always get it right first time round, even when you’re experienced — rather than feel like you’ve failed when you get things wrong, you must be prepared to reconsider, go back and try again. Sometimes stories come out perfectly at the first time of asking. But other times you have to struggle with them, chip away at them, and re-fashion them into something that works.

Away from my PC, I had an enjoyable weekend. We went out on Friday night, to take advantage of the pubs in Limerick being open on Good Friday — the first time ever, and the only pubs in all of Ireland to be granted the privilege!!! On Saturday we recovered, then on Sunday we had a nice lunch with my parents, then went for a long walk outside a little village called Broadford in west Limerick. Today I was back to work — it might be a bank holiday for the rest of the country, but there’s not a lot of rest in the world of Shan when I’m at home!!! I’d rather do a bit of work than sit and look out the window all day…

8 Comments

  1. Drake said,

    Hey Darren,
    You should check out a book called Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind. It’s a Fantasy book, but without the overly fantasy elements (magic isn’t used to overcome all the challenges like most modern day fantasies) and more of a human core than most books these days, and Goodkind spends more time talking about free will and the right everyone has to live their own lives than boring exposition about the history of magic or dragons.

  2. Stephanie said,

    Well thats good that you had time for yourself glad to hear that and cant wait for the series in October love the Darren Saga and will definatly devour this one 🙂 keep doing the very best you never dissapoint us Shansters and we thank you peace love freaks 🙂

  3. Stephanie said,

    Glad you had time for yourself Darren and im really pumped for the Crepsley series in October 🙂 keep doing the best you always do and you never dissapoint us Shansters 🙂

    • nick said,

      yeah darren! pubs are the place to be on holidays. but seriously man, dont wear yourself out and never forget to write cause then we wont have anything to read.

      • nick said,

        no listen to nick he is awesome and knows whats bets for the shansters. jk lolol.

      • nick said,

        i meant best

  4. christopher said,

    dont listen to nick go have some fun and get drunk

  5. kasie said,

    I cant wait to read the new series i am sure it will be a great book ! good luck !hope you have a wonderful spring

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