Changing Plot Points
I want to thank Brooke for hosting me today, and for thinking of such an interesting topic. Leave it to another dedicated writer to think of asking “How many times did your plot change while writing THE MAGIC WAKES?” Before I answer, I want to do a quick review of plot and plot layers or subplots.
Plot is your story. What happens in the beginning all the way to the end—the main storyline. This plot can have lots of layers or subplots that keep it interesting. Their purpose is to add conflict and put obstacles in front of your characters. Slow them down from reaching their goals.
For instance, the main plot in THE MAGIC WAKES is Talia needs/wants to survive a planetary invasion. That’s simple enough. Don’t die. Since she lives in a technical world, I added layers by making her a scientist that knows about the invasion because of magical qualities, not research. She’s also accused of working with a secret society out to depose of the monarchy by my male MC. Throw in a heavy dose of immediate physical attraction during their verbal sparring and things are complicated even more.
Subplots can also be storylines of secondary characters. They should however relate to the main plot and intersect it in places. Jaron is an alien out to destroy the Dragumon—no matter the cost or people that get in the way. His goal is different from Talia’s for most of the novel, and debatable even after they meet.
Now to Brooke’s question. How many times did my plot change while writing THE MAGIC WAKES?
Who knows! My big plot changed at least once that I can remember, and at times it felt the layers were in constant flux.
In the beginning Talia was named Elyzbeth. She was only 17 and heading off for her first year of university life. She had loving parents, a brother, and a best friend. The idea was that she met this mysterious and totally hot guy in her mandatory arts class. After years of them just flirting I knew something had to change. There was no reason for my bad guy to pick on them. They were just going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and it wasn’t working for me.
I changed Elyzbeth’s name, killed her whole family, and gave her another ten years of experience. Now she had a career and emotional issues to deal with. This is also when I decided to combine my weak original idea with some creepy dreams from my past. Now I had goals for Talia.
Many subplots changed while working with crit partners or my editor. They were wonderful about pointing out areas that needed more. We discussed things and several new scenes (some that are my new favorites) came to be. Here’s a short list of subtle changes:
- Talia gained a furry pet
- Talia’s dreams come true in degrees
- Landry gained a real reason for hating the Signum
- Talia learned how to control her dreams at times
- Jaron’s demon gained a personality and now will play a major part in book 3!
- My beginning and ending both changed at least 100 times
- Because of beginning tweaks I came up with some new tech for certain scenes of the book
- One guy turned out to be the bad guy after being a good guy for 4 years
THE MAGIC WAKES by Charity Bradford
Talia has a secret, one that will save her world and yet rip it apart. Only she can decide if the price is worth it.
Scientist Talia Zaryn has always had visions of an alien invasion and of her own death. She’s kept it a secret, hoping they are nothing more than childish nightmares. But when her face in the mirror matches that of her dreams, she fears the dreams are prophetic. Talia must prove that life exists beyond their planet, Sendek; perhaps then people will prepare to fight.
Talia’s work at the Space Exploration Foundation leaves no time for personal relationships, but Major Landry Sutton isn’t looking for a friend. He’s looking for a traitor. His ability to sense emotions convinces him Talia is that traitor until a touch sizzles between them. In an instant their minds are connected and they can communicate telepathically. Just as the two begin to trust each other, the invading force arrives.
Talia and Landry must uncover the secrets of Sendek’s past if they hope to defeat these terrifying creatures. And Talia is the key—if only she can learn to trust the magic coursing through her veins.
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Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS and SUMMER OF THE MONKEYS. She’s the mother of four kids that keep her on her toes, constantly reminding her that imagination still makes the world go round. She lives in Arkansas with her hubby and children, and firmly believes that a smile can solve most problems. THE MAGIC WAKES is her first novel.