There are a few things going on today, some of which are personal and some that aren’t. Let’s talk about those things that aren’t personal– I began the revision on Chapter Four and managed my way through the first scene and about a third of the way through the second. Given that the second scene is over thirty-eight hundred words, I likely edited and rewrote about two thousand words.
And rewrite I did: sections of both were changed either a little or a lot. The opening paragraph of the second scene is a good example, and this is where another character we know quite well by now is introduced for the first time. So this is how that looked in the last draft:
(The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2016 by Cassidy Frazee)
She’d started closing things down for the night when Coraline Gallagher received Isis’ call that she was finally getting visitors. It wasn’t anything serious: nothing more than “a couple of shook up kids” in need of a quick exam. She knew just how “shook up” children could get after their E and A, like the girl two years ago who told Coraline she felt a little tired, then vomited and collapsed on the floor. She kept all her options ready, and wasn’t about to take anything for granted.
And how it looks now:
She’d begun closing down for the night when Doctor Coraline Gallagher received Isis’ call that she visitors were on their way: nothing more than “a couple of shook up kids” in need of a quick exam. Coraline knew just how “shook up” children could become due to their E and A—she’d seen everything from crying shakes, vomiting and convulsions, and even a few who showed signed of physical trauma—so she kept all her options open.
Hello there, Coraline! The moment she steps out on to the stage, and right off the bat one of the biggest changes I made was to address her by her real title: Doctor Gallagher. And we go from hearing about one girl throwing up and passing out to cry, vomiting, convulsions, and students coming out of E and As looking is if they were in a fight. And isn’t long after that we see her getting all doctor like with the kids and the beginnings of their relationship:
Coraline caught Kerry’s stare and immediately put it out of mind as she was used to that kind of attention from both the boys and the girls. “Isis told me you were coming—okay, I got her.” She took Annie’s arm and gently eased her into the nearest chair. She addressed her in the most soothing “I know what I’m doing” doctor’s voice she knew while Kerry took the seat on Annie’s right. “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Annie hesitated answering so Kerry did it for her. “She said she was dizzy and that she felt sick to her stomach.”
Keeping her eyes affixed upon Annie Coraline addressed her again. “Was this after your E and A?”
Kerry answered again. “Yeah. We both came—”
Coraline Extended her right arm and held her index fingers about ten centimeters from Kerry’s face. “Red—” She then placed the finger across her lips as she smiled at him over her gesture. “Shhh.” Then it was back to the now-grinning Annie. “Are you a little better now?”
Annie blinked a couple of times. “My head is better, but my stomach is still . . .” She laid her hands across her lower abdomen.
“Got it.” Coraline knelt down, getting eye level with both guests. “What’s your name?”
She turned to her silenced one on her right. “And you, Red?”
“Right, then—” She stood and straightened her smock. “I’m gonna take Annie into the ward and give her a quick check up. You—” She smiled down at Kerry. “Just relax. I’ll be back in a bit.”
She got playful with them even then, and odds were she didn’t act that way with every student. And it’s after she takes Annie back for a quick checkup–one that involves a little non-normal routines–Coraline begins noticing something about this girl with chestnut hair–
Coraline tapped the display three times. “I’m gonna set the timer for fifteen minutes, and you are to do nothing while it’s counting down. If you want to close your eyes, go ahead: I won’t hold it against you if you fall asleep.” She returned Annie’s weak smile. “When the timer goes off I’ll come back to check on you, but I do not want you getting up until I give you the okay.” She smiled as she patted Annie on the arm. “You got it?”
“Yes, Nurse Coraline.” Before Coraline could start start the timer Annie stopped her with a question. “Are you going to check Kerry, too?”
This caught Coraline a little by surprise. She’d planed on doing just that, but hadn’t expected Annie to make a request. “Do you think he needs checking?”
“I think . . .” Annie closed her eyes for a moment, relaxing as the medicine started acting. “When he came out of his E and A he was breathing hard and crying.”
Coraline gave Annie a knowing look. “I’ll make sure he’s okay.”
“And—” Annie glanced up at the monitor next to her bed. “If you want to use a device like you used on me, it’s okay.”
“Oh, really?” She was always careful not to spring the tech on the first night unless she was dealing with a Legacy or it was an emergency. And from what she understood there was only one Legacy this year, which meant the boy in the waiting room must be a Normal. “You sure about that?”
“He’s smart, he’s clever, and I don’t think he’ll be shocked.” Annie gulped slowly. “I’m certain he’s starting to think things around here are different, though I haven’t been able to tell him the truth.” She closed her eyes for a second, appearing slightly crestfallen. “Orders, you know.”
Coraline knew there were Normals who didn’t freak when the realized the truth about this place—I was one of them, I should know—but there was something else going on here . . . “You’re worried about him, aren’t you?”
Annie nodded. “Yes. I want him to be good.”
Coraline closely watched Annie’s eyes and saw the glimmer she suspected she’d see there. This time she gave Annie’s hand a tender squeeze. “Okay, then: I’ll make sure he’s good.” She reached up and activated the timer. “Clock’s ticking. Back in fifteen.”
There’s as glimmer in Annie’s eyes–I wonder what that means? Coraline is something of a romantic, so it isn’t hard for her to spot the signs in other. Particularly eleven year old girls with glimmering hazel eyes. Maybe others don’t see it, but this doctor does. And as we discover later, Nurse Soon To Be Doctor Coraline sees so much.
Now that the editing is out of the way, let’s speak of something else–
You may or may not have looked on the main page since last night, but if you have you may have noticed a new addition to the sidebars. And what is that addition?
Yeah, there’s a little countdown timer there, and it’s to announce that, yes, I will take up the craziness once more and likely spend the better of the next year and a half writing the next novel, C For Continuing. I know I shouldn’t do this, but I’m feeling the urge to get started again, and if I don’t set a time to do something I’ll never get it going.
There’s also another reason. See, this point is number 1,980, which means there are twenty post to go before hitting number 2,000. And since I like to do something nice for my milestones, I figure why not publish the first excerpts from the new novel through the post? This will mean that I won’t be reblogging my Sense8 recaps as they happen as it would mess up the counting, so I’ll figure out something else there–maybe like a mass reblog dump the day of the 2,000th post.
So between now and then I need to set up the project and begin plotting things out, which I can do as I already have most everything time lined out. There’s something else I have to do, and that’s write up the “trailer” for the next novel, and I’m shooting to have that ready to go on the 16th. That will be the day I start writing the novel, and it will also be the day I put out the trailer. You’ll have to wait three days to see the excerpt, because special post, yo.
Now, I will continued editing A For Advanced, and this means I’ll set aside time to edit like a thousand or two thousand words, and then also set aside time to write between five hundred and a thousand words as well. It’s a daunting task, but it’s also a possible one. Besides, I need a little kick in the butt, because I’ve gotten too complacent of late, and it’s time to get to work.
After all, I have stories to tell.