Now It Can Be Told

That’s “told”, not a mispronunciation of “cold”, although we could certainly use about ten degrees off the swelter. Okay, if it’s so hot, why am I wearing a swelter? Now that we have that out of the way, do you mind if I begin my post? Thank you.

I JUST SIGNED A CONTRACT on the first of a three-book series. πŸ˜€

Many long years ago, I began a fantasy novel I called (and, so far, still call) SAGE. I finished it, read it to the Southern Indiana Writers group, edited it, and submitted it to an agent. I got an agent, who suggested rewrites but declined to wait for them. I did the rewrites, got another agent, who wanted rewrites but didn’t like them when I’d done them. Can’t remember who wanted what, but I went through about four agents and as many rewrites.

At length, I started reading the “finished” product to #4 daughter, who had grown up with the book. We both agreed that the book was dead. Murder by rewrite.

So I dug out all the versions. Taking the first version as my template, I took each version apart, isolated the bits I liked from each one, and patched together a rough draft that was massive but included everything #4 daughter and I loved about all the ways the story had been told.

I applied for, and was granted, a week’s writer’s retreat and used it to read through the entire manuscript and make notes of the many, MANY continuity glitches that resulted from switching scenes around for better impact.

desk at retreat - photo by Marian Allen
desk at retreat – photo by Marian Allen

And now, the manuscript has been accepted by Hydra Publications, with the first book coming out early in 2013.

Happy? Why, yes. Yes, I am. πŸ™‚

There may be more rewrites, but I can do that now without killing the book. #4 daughter would never allow it!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: It’s a clichΓ©d story arc, isn’t it? That’s because it really happens, as it did to me: Somebody has a dream that gets hammered out of shape; when it looks like the dream is dead, the person takes hold of it and brings it back to life and the dream, at last, is validated. Write a scene from any point of that arc, making it fresh by making it specific to that character, that project, that setting.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Now It Can Be Told

  1. Red Tash

    July 19, 2012 at 9:00am

    Oh, Marian, I’m so happy for you! That’s such an accomplishment! Much success with this book!!! πŸ˜€ Hooray and congrats!!!

    Can you tell us just a bit of what Sage is about? It sounds like there’s magic in it…

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2012 at 9:33am

      Thanks, Red! Oh, I’ll be telling plenty about SAGE. lol! It’s a sort of Sword and Sorcery, I guess, although interpersonal relationships are more powerful than the swords or the sorcery. It also features the Four Divine Animals of Chinese mythology: Unicorn, Dragon, Phoenix, and Tortoise (the animal who forgets the principles of right and wrong). Guess which one is my favorite. πŸ˜‰

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  2. STephen Tremp

    July 19, 2012 at 10:19am

    Congrats! Marian on the great news! Best wishes for your continued success!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2012 at 1:45pm

      Thanks, Stephen! This book is very dear to my heart. To #4 daughter’s, too. πŸ™‚

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  3. John Ross Barnes

    July 19, 2012 at 11:49am

    That is great News! Big Congratulations! Not on the publishing but also on having rewritten a story to death and then having been able to Frankenstien the pieces back to life. After what I’ve done to my Nano from last year that’s actually kind of heartening for me to read of.

    Thanks for this, Marian – a again – congratulations

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2012 at 1:49pm

      John Ross, I’ve learned that sometimes Grandma wasn’t joking. If I stayed in the bath too long, she’d warn me I was going to “wash all the pretty off”. That’s what I did to my book–I revised all the pretty off. It IS good to know that a dead manuscript can be brought back to life. All you need to do is infuse it with a healthy dose of what you loved about it in the first place. πŸ™‚

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  4. Jane

    July 19, 2012 at 1:57pm

    I am so proud and happy for you. No one deserves this more!
    Congratulations in a very big way!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2012 at 2:43pm

      Thanks, Jane! πŸ™‚ And you were here when I started the story, remember? I read you a bit of it? πŸ™‚ Back when #4 daughter was a wee tot. lol

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  5. Morgan Mandel

    July 19, 2012 at 4:22pm

    Great advice on how to revive a dead book, and now you have a series!

    Much Congratulations!

    Morgan Mandel

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      July 19, 2012 at 9:34pm

      Thanks, Morgan! The floor was covered with manuscripts, paper clips, index cards…and the hair I tore out of my own head! lol

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  6. Jane

    July 20, 2012 at 9:24am

    @Marian Allen
    I do recall. I liked ti very much and have been wishing to read it all ever since. Now, I get my wish.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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