Changes?! Did Morty say changes?!

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Yep, I sure did. Good ones too.

Probably the best thing to come out of my time with my agent, apart from the general encouragement of my meeting with him, was the careful reading and critique I recieved.

Don’t get me wrong, he loved the book and thinks it may do very well on the open market. But he did have some valuble suggestions for improving the story.

Here’s the big shocker — the suggestion that I needed time to accept but which, after reflection, I came to see is absolutely dead on.

The book I’ve written is really two stories!

They’re like Siamese twins joined at the hip that need a little surgery to separate.

What?! you say. How can that be?

Because the book is really the jumping off point for a series it is understandable. I was trying to do too much in the first book. I suspected it, but I didn’t want to accept it. His objective view got me out of my denial though.

Furthermore, the market test confirms his view.

A couple of things came out of the test that have bothered me. First, two of the most beloved characters die. That was just too much for readers to take. An author should only kill one off a book in a series. The other was that the penultimate climax ended up eclipsing the final climax. Most kids saw the Battle for the Troth as the high point of the story when I saw the journey to the hole in the sky as the true climax.

The solution is simple. End the first book at the end of the battle and with the death of Epictetus and the second at the hole in the sky and the death of Zephyr.

This will allow me to lengthen somethings and add more detail and drama without losing momentum. One of the things about my writing that I think makes it stand out is its speed — I tend to write stories that move. Now I’ll be able to add to the stories without slowing things down. It will also allow me to put things in that I left out.

Now the series is a five book series. Here are my working titles:

Book 1 — The Purloined Boy

Book 2 — The Fay Brand

Book 3 — The Wyrdling

Book 4 — Ragnarok

Book 5 — The Return of the Mouse

Morty

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