Thursday, 21 February 2013


Dear Characters of The Name of the Blade,

Hi! How are you all doing? Ha ha - do you see what I did there? Asking how you're doing when of course I know because I'm the one that put you all in that position in the first place!

Ahem. Er. Sorry about that.

Anyway, yes, it's me, your author - the big, blinky lady you occasionally notice looming in the sky above you. Yes, the one with the scary look in her eyes and pens in her hair. Yes, and occasionally pen on her face too. But please don't be alarmed! I'm just here to let you know about some - ah - some changes.

Remember that other nice lady who periodically comes along and scrawls red notes all over the margins of your adventures? It's her job to make sure that your triumphs (and tragedies, let's not forget about those) are as clear - as effective and exciting - as possible. She helps to make sure you have enough to do, all evenly spaced out, without long boring chunks or bits that feel rushed and under-developed, and she's concerned about showcasing all your characters at their best and making sure that you grow. She really does have all your best interests at heart. And she and I have had a couple of long chats recently. About you.

So... here's the thing. I wrote a new first chapter for you. You guys don't know about it because I wrote it in a new document rather than amending the master draft. I wasn't keeping secrets! I just didn't want to subject you to all that upheaval and confusion until I was sure that I had got that new first chapter right. It's... it's a very different first chapter. It starts at a completely different place than the one you have now, and it leads into a somewhat different first half for the book you're living in.

Well, the Red Pen Lady (we call her Wonder Editor up here, but I appreciate that you have a different point of view) has read this new first chapter and she likes it. Which is great! It means that I'll be putting that new chapter in place in the master draft today, though, so prepare yourselves for some minor side-effects. The usual sort of thing - dizziness, light-headedness, a bit of confusion. Wherever you are, just sit down until it passes.

When this new beginning is in place, of course you're going to notice that things look a bit different. You, yourselves, will be a tiny bit different. Now, I don't want you to panic when you see that! I promise that I know what I'm doing. Or - well, Red Pen Lady does anyway. So try not to stress out about it too much.

I'm not going to lie. This isn't the end of the process. I'll be making changes - some fairly subtle, others that are more major - throughout the whole manuscript. Some scenes will be cut, others trimmed down. Some scenes will be extended. Many of them will turn out differently than they did before. Some of you will find yourselves saying things you might not have done, or doing things you might not have done before. Some of you may... cease to be. It will all be done as painlessly as possible.

Just follow this new flow of action where it goes, act as your instincts tell you to, and everything will be fine. All of this is intended to help you shine, to help your story shine. And, as always, I am ready and willing to listen to your input and to alter and amend according to what you tell me.

So if you respond to any of this by freezing up and refusing to speak to me, and then I get it all wrong? You will really have NO ONE BUT YOURSELVES TO BLAME.


OK, I think that's everything! Have a lovely day, everyone! Well, as much as you can, with the [spoilers] and the [spoilers] and the [spoilers] right in the [spoilers] [spoilers]. But it could all be much worse. You could be living in a Cassandra Clare novel. She'd do far worse things to you than I can. So bear that in mind.

Much Love,
Zolah xx


Isabel said...

I love your letters to your characters! They're hilarious :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: Yay! Thanks. There's been something of a conspicuous silence around here since I posted this...

Phoenixgirl said...

I love it too - I just hadn't remembered to say so! The last bit about the Cassandra Clare novel is especially funny.

Zoë Marriott said...

Phoenix: Heh. Thank you :)

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