REVISITING & REVISING: SQUIRM & SOLORINE
With the preliminary revisions on the first third of IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT: Odyssium Collection Volume 1 out of the way, let's barrel on to the next few stories contained in the collection. I'm skipping for now THE HOLLOW-HEARTED, as that's it's own beast which I'm working on now.
For those who need a refresher, SQUIRM is the debut story in the Strange Days of Odyssium series, which I still plan to be collection exclusives. It's about Croe Kidson, a poor 18-year-old schlub who just can't catch a break as he tries to have the audacity to...you know, go on living his life. In SQUIRM, Croe is still hopeful, chasing his dream to live out a life working on the ocean. It's not a big dream, and you'd think it's not too much to ask for.
I enjoyed my reread of SQUIRM, though it did get a bit more polish. As always, the story went unchanged, but some narration was rewritten, along with the usual punching up of the dialogue. I was never going for laugh out loud hilarious with the story, just a lighter tonal shift that, you know, some might find funny. Personally, I find it funnier now post-revision, so hopefully you do too.
Ah, MY NAME WAS SOLORINE. Let's give a brief overview of what it is that we're dealing with here. SOLORINE is the collection's closer, and it's rather simple: it primarily concerns a post-kidnapping debriefing that involves some flashing back to what happened during the kidnapping. Here's the rub, though--SOLORINE is a complete story, it ends, but it acts as a taster for a much larger story arc...an arc I have yet to continue.
Because the events in MY NAME WAS SOLORINE occurs well after the current story arcs in the mainline Odyssium series. Several major events need to happen before I can follow up on this teaser.
What if I never do? Fair question...now quit eyeing me like that guy who has 4 initials in his name. No, not J.R.R. Tolkien...that other one with two 'R's in the middle. Sequelizing SOLORINE is still years away, I'll admit that much. If it never happens, though, due to one circumstance or another...I'm fine with that. SOLORINE on its own I feel is deeply intriguing, and it could almost be more fun to let readers answer the questions it poses for themselves. That's of course a total cop out, but one I'm willing to live with.
Upon revisiting SOLORINE, I was rather amazed. Unlike all the previous stories in the collection, I barely changed a thing. It read fantastically--especially for my first try in decades writing in first-person narrative. So...that was kind of cool and made my job quick and easy.
Let's not forget (because I forget occasionally) about A WOMAN SCORNED. A WOMAN SCORNED falls under bonus content, as it's not a complete story on its own. It's a sort of "hidden" chapter from, well...FROM ASHES OF EMPIRES. Like SOLORINE, I didn't do much with this one. It was pretty solid, maybe because SOLORINE and SCORNED were the last ones written for the collection and my chops were a little tighter. I don't know. But it was certainly good enough to be the only piece of bonus content that survived the revision.
In the previous edition of Odyssium Collection Volume 1, there were two deleted scenes from SCRAPPER--MEMORY LANE and BRIDGE TO NOWHERE. I decided to cut them on this round, so they won't appear in future editions of IN DARKNESS AND LIGHT. While I liked them, I decided they didn't add anything vital, and I've also become less protective over time of every last word I write. So, in the unlikely (HIGHLY unlikely) scenario that the series takes off mega-big, the existing prints will be the only place where you can find those scenes. And those prints will be worth...
Next time, we'll talk about the last (and biggest?) undertaking during this revision, THE HOLLOW-HEARTED. Till then, take care.