I just did something stupid this week. Stupid good, not stupid bad.
I just finished The Commons for review and decided to edit one of my own finished stories. I do this when my head isn’t in the mode to read a new book and it usually helps, especially if I edit one of my own, then read a review book, then edit one of my own. It keeps me from getting bored.
So, I picked up ‘Unconditional’, a YA paranormal romance which you can read on Wattpad for free here. I also have an ‘Uncut‘ version that’s going up now, which is the 18+ version. I decided to read the 18+ version first, which I’d cut into 5 novella sized pieces, for a ‘saga’. I was undecided how I wanted to publish it – as YA or as 18+ adult – and whether to do the novel or the saga version, so I figured if I read the adult part first, I’d have an idea of whether it would work or not.
BIG mistake! I barely got a few pages into the 1st saga novella, before I realised that one of female characters doesn’t work, simply because they’re female. I’ve been writing more M/M lately than ever and I’m really addicted to the genre. It barely took me until halfway through to realise that the overall story would work so much better if it was an M/M romance.
Which, totally makes sense, because two of the lesser characters, Parry and Davian, have a gay romance storyline. And since Parry and the MC Prosper are twins, and twins generally have the same sexuality, why not make them both gay man, with a gay storyline?
So, I began my editing process :
Step 1 – I abandoned my edits of the first saga piece and made all the necessary changes to the document on my computer, compiling all saga parts into one novel. Easy.
Step 2 – The MC’s are Prosper (a vampire King) and a human girl (Serafina), so my next move was to replace all mentions of Serafina with my new male character Spencer. Simple.
Step 3 – I had to replace all the ‘she’ to ‘he’ and the ‘her’ to ‘his’. The problem is that I forgot I have 5 other female characters in the story! And, although ‘her’ or ‘hers’ are used for varying reasons, when you convert them to a man ‘his’ does not cover everything, because sometimes that ‘his’ needs to be a ‘him’. Aaaarggh!
Step 4 – I wrote a new beginning, a Prologue, with a glimpse into the past, because it popped into my head and made the forthcoming story more plausible. (I’ll admit, in both YA and 18+ versions, the MCs fall in love really quickly)
Step 5 – I’m reading the entire thing bit by bit. AKA, I have 3 documents open, the book, the notes and the chapter document. I’ve copied all of the parts into the ‘Notes’ document and left the ‘Book’ document blank, except for the title and my name. I take between 4-6 pages and insert them into Chapter 1’s document, work my way through every word of it, editing, adding and removing whatever is relevant (any excess gets put back into the Notes for Chapter 2). Once that chapter is done, it’s copied into the ‘Book’ document as Chapter 1. Then, rinse and repeat for Chapters 2 onwards. Yes, it’s tedious, but it also means I miss nothing.
Step 6 – Here’s my problem…now that it’s a new book, I want a new title and cover. I love my new cover, which only took me three attempts to get right (which is great, because I’m really picky) but I can’t seem to decide on a title. I started with – Unconditional, but I’ve had that title for about 4 or 5 years now and I want something fresh and new, to symbolise that it’s a new story (since the new M/M version will probably also be put on Wattpad at some point)
These are my options:
- The Vampire King (current)
- Prosper’s Curse (also the name of Part 2)
- The King’s Curse
- The Choice
- Royal Craving
- Supernatural Flair
Here’s the cover, to see how ‘The Vampire King’ looks. (The text is easily changed.) The scars, redness, spot marks etc are all relevant because Prosper, the MC, was set on fire by a chemical potion, before he transitioned into a vampire and he has never healed.
Here are the covers for the YA (left) and 18+ (right) versions of the previous story:
I’d love your opinions on what title I should go with.
Here’s the blurb, to help you decide what’s suitable:
“Poor and deaf, Spencer struggles to live in a new world. The sun is slowly dying, vampires rule all the surrounding cities in his country, except his own. And the human council who run his city are worse than any vampire.
In search of hope, thirteen-year-old Spencer defies the city and his parents, to visit the prophetess. After promises of a struggle between a path to death and path to love, he’s left with a cross carved into his hand, in remembrance of the risk he took. When he meets the vampire King, Prosper, just a few days later, he trusts that the prophetess was right.
Five years later, Spencer chooses a path that leads him straight into Prosper’s arms. Disfigured, the vampire King sees himself as nothing but a monster to haunt Spencer’s nightmares.
Can a human survive the perceptions of a world that deems him inferior, a vampire Princess who wants rid of him and two playful vampire Princes, with more trouble than they can handle? And can a simple human bring Prosper out of the shadows and back into a world that desperately needs his guidance?”