The Evolution of a Novel

Last November, I punched out over 50,000 words for The Coven of Essex. I'd done some preliminary research, which mostly involved watching a fabulous documentary, called Witch Hunt: A Century of Murder. Apparently it was supposed to be a series but maybe it got cancelled after two episodes? At any rate, it was enough to spark my interest but not enough to inform a novel. I made a lot of assumptions last November.
Since then, I've been researching. And researching. And researching. Today, I had a brainstorm that changed my novel, fundamentally. These changes will help me to flush out my themes and symbols. They'll allow me to tell a larger story. I won't share what they are because I don't want to give away any surprises! 
Everything evolves...Darwin agrees.
Everything evolves...Darwin agrees.
I don't know whether the research is gelling or whether it's excitement for my upcoming MFA program to start, or a combination of both (I think that seems most likely), but I'm grateful to have discovered this new and improved--evolved, if you will--story. Check out some of the differences between the two versions:
  • The Coven of Essex probably would have been about 250-300 pages.
  • The Book of Sorcellerie (my new working title) will be at least 500 pages.
  • Coven had two male POV characters and one female POV character. Only one of these was a witch.
  • Sorcellerie has four female POV characters. There are more witches, and there is more magic.
  • Coven was only going to focus on one branch of magic.
  • Sorcellerie will incorporate several branches of magic for a more robust reader (and character) experience.
  • Coven was drafted in one document in Google Docs, which became something of an unmanageable behemoth. 
  • I am using Scrivener for Sorcellerie. I love it. I've had it for years but never really dove in because frankly, the vast variety of features were a bit overwhelming. For me as a younger, less experienced writer, it was perhaps too robust. And I didn't like that I had to use Dropbox to back it up. Now I can use iCloud Drive.
Novels are never finished until they're published...and even then, having published some short works, I believe it likely authors continue to want to make improvements. At some point we have to cut the cord though. However, that time is not yet upon me for Sorcellerie, and so I will continue to participate in its evolution with excitement.


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