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Dark Savior Rewrites Log #1 - Gold Fever Comparisons



I've mentioned in a few previous blog posts that I'd be documenting the rewriting process of my first three novels. Currently, I'm nearing the end of Gold Fever. I just need to finish a few more chapters, make another run through to clear up any inconsistencies or issues, and then send it out to my editor.


In the meantime, I thought some comparisons between the two versions would be nice, for those of you interested.






Comparison 1 - Openings


Original Version

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A Dark Savior shining ever so bright

He comes to protect us and make things right

It is not enough, you must have more

To please our great and powerful lord

He will come to free us from all that is bad

From the pain, suffering, and choices we’ve had

It is his will, it shall be done

We follow now, the will of the one

Shining black will show you the way

So, our Savior can return one day…


A man named Dalton awoke, startled by the vivid words in his dream. It felt as if he had snapped out of a trance instead of awakening from a dream. He rubbed his eyes and glanced around the dimly lit cave. The luminous blue rocks on the walls gave off a unique glimmer that in different circumstances would have filled him with wonder, but he had been in these caves for long enough that he had grown to hate everything about them. His men were all huddled in different corners, trying to stay warm. It had been some time since they saw daylight.


Since he and his team of 50 miners had entered the ancient mines of Mt. Couture, nothing but disaster had come to them. They had been warned several times by posted signs and even by those from their own village: Nothing but pain and suffering would come to them in the long stretch of tunnels that lay within the mountain. They had been abandoned for good reason, and few who entered returned alive. They had gained such infamy that they were deemed one of the most dangerous places in the world.


However, the miners had no other choice. Their home village of Faiwell used minerals and precious metals as trading materials with the other settlements across the land. It had been a lucrative business for some time, but like all things, the surrounding mountains could only provide so much valuable material. Faiwell needed large amounts of gold to sustain itself, but the coffers had begun to run low. Village Elders had begun to worry a famine would occur without those precious metals to trade for food.


The mining industry had strong influence in Faiwell, and despite common belief that it was dangerous to return to the deadly mountain, the Miner’s Guild had managed to convince the Village Elders that there was no other choice. The next closest unmined mountains were over 100 kilometers away, so there were only two realistic options: Either attempt to find precious metals at Mt. Couture, or face a disastrous famine. That’s the way it was framed to Dalton. He was told that it was a great honor to be the first to lead a team into the old mines, but he didn’t feel honored. He could feel despair with a hint of madness growing in his mind, but certainly not honor. He would have preferred to be on a battlefield instead.


Over a decade before the mining expedition, Dalton had been the pride and joy of Faiwell, fighting bravely in the War of the Bird on behalf of their country, Federland. He had become known as the greatest warrior of the village, a title which filled him with pride. However, as the years went on and peace continued, the appreciation for his set of skills began to fade. Faiwell’s population of warriors decreased, and the demand that he do something more than fight increased. The local hero had become bitter toward his own people, as they only seemed to care about what he’d done recently. It was through these pressures and his zeal in trying to impress a young maiden that he agreed to the Mining Guild’s odd request to lead the first expedition.


Dalton wrung his hands, deep in thought. He had already lost 15 men along the way in the tunnels. There was a disastrous point in the journey where a tunnel had collapsed, and four of his men were crushed to death by rock. Six were killed by various creatures living within the mines, but one stood out above the others: An otherworldly monstrosity the likes of which they could have never imagined before seeing it. It openly attacked them in their group, and they could do nothing but run. This being had a penchant for only attacking at night, so Dalton nicknamed it ‘the nightcrawler’.


Most troubling of all, five men had disappeared without so much as a trace. No screams and no struggle — just gone without anyone having noticed. Dalton had noticed some men babbling and acting strangely, but he thought it was them going stir-crazy in the mines. Never had he imagined they would vanish in such a manner.


The breakdowns in the tunnel had blocked them off from their only known entrance and exit, and in the chaos of the walls collapsing around them, over half of their mining equipment was lost. They had attempted to dig themselves through the wreckage, but soon it became apparent that it was out of the question — they’d die of thirst before breaking through. They had no choice but to look for alternate exits, and the further they continued into the mines, the more confusing the layout got. Supplies were beginning to run short, and Dalton knew he would have some difficult decisions to make in the near future.

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Rewrite Version

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A Savior descends, dark as night

He brings us treasures, ever bright

It is not enough, you must have more

This is the will of our merciful lord

Shining black will light the way

To a place where your Dark Savior lay…


Dalton Rayleigh awoke with a start. He rubbed his eyes and glanced around the dimly lit cave. The luminous blue rocks on the walls gave off a unique glimmer that in different circumstances would have filled him with wonder, but he had grown to hate everything about them. His men were all huddled in different corners, trying to stay warm. It had been some time since they last saw daylight.


‘Stay away from the mines of Mt. Couture,’ had been a mantra often repeated by the oldest and wisest of Dalton’s home village, Faiwell. It had been common knowledge, in fact, that going there could only bring needless pain and death to the unfortunate souls ensnared in its grasp. However, as a mining settlement, Faiwell lived and died by its precious metal trade. A shortage of such metals in the surrounding mountains had the Village Elders worried for everyone’s future. Faiwell’s farms were not meant to feed the entire population, and if the shortage were to continue, a famine might occur.


These worries led Mining Guild president Drake Danvers to step in with a new solution: Attempt to mine the precious metals of Mt. Couture for the first time in over a hundred years. Not only was it the last mining site within a day’s travel of the village, but the well-told legend of the Gold Pit at Mt. Couture’s center enticed the Village Elders and convinced them that it was worth the risk. Besides, Drake had reasoned, the threats of the mines might have been mitigated by now.


So much for that, Dalton thought with a snort. From the very moment he and his team of 50 had entered the mines, it felt as if everything had been trying to kill them. A tunnel collapse had killed four, while six had perished at the hands of wretched creatures who called Mt. Couture home. Most disturbing of all, five of the miners had disappeared without as much as a word or trace left behind. Some of the men were beginning to go stir-crazy, and, with the collapse having blocked their only known exit, they’d been wandering for long enough that thirst was becoming a concern.


Dalton wrung his hands, thinking of ways to ration out the remaining food and water. He hated playing the role of leader, but his zeal in trying to impress a Village Elder’s granddaughter had seen him agreeing to the Miner’s Guild’s odd request that he take charge of the first team sent in. As a battle-hardened warrior, he had little experience in mining. To make matters more awkward, he was a man of action and had often found himself at odds with the other miners, who were used to playing it cautious. Soon, he thought, there’d be more conflict between him and the team. Tough decisions loomed on the horizon, and they wouldn’t be popular ones.

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These two samples are narration that occur at the beginning of Gold Fever, before we get any dialogue. The original is nearly 900 words long, while the rewrite is a bit over 500. If you look back between the two, do you feel anything was lost between the original and rewrite?


The main difference is backstory on our introductory character, Dalton. The original goes into some detail on The War of the Bird and Dalton living under pressure because there are no more wars for him to fight. The thing is, even in the original, most of these details are already covered in upcoming dialogue with his second-in-command on the journey, Baltr. There's no need for the narrator to bring it up, because it's already brought up in conversation a page or so later.


Similarly, the monster known as "nightcrawler" is not mentioned in the opening narration of the rewrite, because it is mentioned often in the dialogue of this chapter. I made some changes to later parts of their conversation, playing up what a child at heart Dalton tends to be, even in dire situations. At the same time, I wanted to show that like flipping a switch, he can become serious and insightful:


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“They’re acting peculiar.”


“Hard to blame them in a situation like this,” Dalton said with a sigh. “Since that tunnel collapse, we’ve been wandering in circles. This place is more like a maze than a mine. If we don’t first succumb to our thirst, then I’m sure that horrid nightcrawler will finish us off.”


Baltr narrowed his eyes. “Sir, just because you came up with the name of the beast, doesn’t mean you must bring it up in every conversation. We haven’t seen that monster in at least a day, I would say…”


He brought up a finger and wagged it. “Ah-ah-ah. Don’t forget why I called it night-crawler. It only hunts us down at night. It’s impossible to tell the time of day in this shit-heap, but I’m sure nightfall approaches… and then, there will be nothin’ we can do. That thing ate my sword for dinner… our weapons are useless.”


“Can we circle back to the condition of our men, sir?” Baltr asked, leaning in. Dalton nodded. “They’re acting the same way Ollie did before he disappeared. Appearing sickly, becoming defensive over the treasures they’ve found, rambling on about a ‘Dark Savior’ and how we must-”


“‘Dark Savior’?” Dalton interrupted with urgency.

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Anyway, an important part of this rewrite for me was fixing up the first chapter. The original chapter one is filled with mistakes:


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A man named Dalton awoke, startled by the vivid words in his dream. It felt as if he had snapped out of a trance instead of awakening from a dream.

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Oi... not a good start. In addition, it takes too long getting to the point. It's important to inform readers why Dalton and his team are trapped in the mines, but way too much backstory is given. That's why I opted to sprinkle some of these details (Like Dalton's pedigree as a warrior) into the later dialogue instead of in the opening narration.


Overall, I like the rewrite version of the opening more, but may still make some tweaks before I'm finished. What do you think?





Comparison 2 - A Fateful Meeting... From a Certain Point of View ;)




Original Version

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The young man readjusted his helmet to look closer at the map he was holding. This intense focus didn’t allow him to see that the line in front of him had been stopped by the team leader. He continued walking straight into a large man’s back.


Being small himself, Joel bounced back, while the man in front of him barely moved. Still, the top-heavy, red-haired man turned around with a snarl on his face.


“Oi! Watch where yer goin’!” the man said. His voice was raspy, but not quite the deep, intimidating sound one would have expected from a larger fellow.


The young man looked up and tipped his miner’s helmet back in response, then looked back down at his map. The big man dropped his jaw in disbelief. He nudged one of the miners lined up beside him, a man named Henic, multiple times.


“Can you believe this waif? HE bumps into ME and then acts like I’m the one bein’ rude! I oughta knock him ‘round for a wee bit. That’ll show him!” the big man bellowed as he let out a chuckle.


Henic looked over at the young man and let out a sigh.


“Eh, go easy on him Alistair. Don’t you know who that boy is? That’s Joel, you see- “


Alistair threw his hands up. “Oooooo! ‘Joel’, eh? Well I suppose that changes everything, then! I guess ya think yer a hotshot and that ya can just barge into anyone ya want with no consequences, eh Joel?”


Joel looked up from his map to meet Alistair’s glare. He stared back at him with his light brown eyes, blinking. He tipped his helmet to him once again, and then looked down at the map.


“I can’t believe this guy! Yer tryin’ ta tell me that YOU bump into ME, and ya expect ME to apologize for it?” Alistair asked, incredulous. Henic nudged him so he would stop, but he continued on.


“That IS what yer tryin’ ta tell me with yer silence, ISN’T IT?” he said while spitting from the intensity of his words.


Alistair’s heavily accented shouts echoed around the decaying trees. Some of the other miners were beginning to look back so they could see what the commotion was about. Joel looked back up from his map and simply smiled back, infuriating Alistair further.


“Answer tha question, boy!”


Joel tilted his head.


“Answer tha question, Joel!”


Henic tried harder to get his attention, but continued to be ignored.


“ANSWER THE QUESTION!”


Joel put his map away and began to move his hands in specific formations. Alistair didn’t understand and became even angrier.


“SPEAK TO ME!” he shouted at the top of his lungs and then picked Joel up by the collar. There were grumblings in the background from the other miners. Joel, for the first time Alistair could see, had a worried look on his boyish face. His cheeks were beginning to turn red from embarrassment.


“Alistair! Stop it already!” Henic said as he grabbed his shoulder and tugged to get his attention. “I’ve been trying to tell you. That boy, Joel… he’s a mute. Doesn’t talk.”


“Oh… oh… so those hand signals…” Alistair trailed off as he let go of the young man’s collar.


“-him trying to communicate, probably. I don’ know him too well, but he’s my neighbor back in the village, so I’d appreciate ye not bringing any harm to him,” Henic said.


Alistair turned red- cheeked with embarrassment, himself.


“Erm…” He rubbed the back of his own curly- haired head, trying to formulate the right words. “I meant ya no harm, boy. Just don’t be bumpin’ into me again, ya got that?”


Joel nodded, and then got back to his map.

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Rewrite Version

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After adjusting his helmet, Joel buried his face in the map he was holding. He could hear chatter up ahead, but paid it little mind. Now was the time to focus on his surroundings. His concentration abruptly snapped as he crashed into a stone wall and then fell to the muddy ground. He attempted to wipe the mud off his old, gray tunic, but only succeeded in spreading it further to the dark sleeves of his undershirt. At least the mud blended in well with his pants and boots, he thought.


At the clearing of a throat, he looked up to see he hadn’t crashed into a stone wall, but a top-heavy, red-haired, giant of a man. He was looking down on him with a snarl. The miners up ahead had also stopped, probably at the team leader’s discretion, he thought.


“Oi! Watch where yer goin’!” the man said. His voice was raspy, but not quite the deep, intimidating sound Joel had expected from a larger fellow. He covered his mouth and some snorting chuckles escaped his nose. “Oh? Is somethin’ funny?”


Joel returned to his feet, tipped his miner’s helmet back in response, and then looked back down at his map. He raised an eyebrow as a big, swollen hand swatted the map downward. It had been the big man, whose face was beginning to turn red. He nudged one of the miners lined up beside him multiple times.


“Oi, Henic! Can ya believe this waif? HE bumps into ME and then acts like I’m the one bein’ rude! I oughta knock him ‘round for a wee bit. That’ll show him!” the big man bellowed with a scoff.


Henic, a balding man with built arms and legs to offset a round gut, glanced at Joel and sighed.


“Eh, go easy on him, Alistair. Don’t you know who he is? That’s Joel, you see-”


Alistair threw his hands up. “Oooooo! Joel, eh? Well, I suppose that changes everything, then! I guess ya think yer a hotshot and that ya can just barge into anyone ya want with no consequences, eh Joel?”


Joel looked up with blinking light brown eyes to meet Alistair’s glare. He tipped his helmet to him once again, but before he could look back at his map, Alistair pushed it down.


“I can’t believe this guy! Yer tryin’ ta tell me that YOU bump into ME, and ya expect ME to apologize for it?” Alistair asked. Henic nudged him, but he continued on.


“That IS what yer tryin’ ta tell me with yer silence, ISN’T IT?” he said while spitting from the intensity of his words.


Alistair’s heavily accented shouts echoed around the decaying trees. Joel could see that some of the miners were beginning to look back at the commotion. Hoping to disarm his anger, he simply smiled back, but Alistair’s round face was beat-red by now.


“Answer tha question, boy!”


Joel tilted his head.


“Answer tha question, Joel!”


Henic nudged him a little harder, but continued to be ignored.


“ANSWER THA QUESTION!”


Joel put his map away and started moving his hands in specific formations. Alistair growled like a feral beast.


“SPEAK TO ME!” he shouted at the top of his lungs and then picked Joel up by the collar. There were grumblings in the background from the other miners. Joel’s cheeks turned red from embarrassment.


“Alistair! Stop it already!” Henic said as he grabbed his shoulder and tugged. “I’ve been trying to tell you. That fellow, Joel… he’s a mute. Doesn’t talk.”


“Oh… oh… so those hand signals…” Alistair trailed off as he let go of his collar.


“Joel trying to communicate, probably. I don’ know him too well, but he’s my neighbor back in the village, so I’d appreciate ye not bringing any harm to him,” Henic said, looking over his shoulder at the stares of the other miners. “Or unnecessary attention on me.”


Alistair turned flush-faced.


“Erm…” He rubbed the back of his curly-haired head. “I meant ya no harm, boy. Just don’t be bumpin’ into me again, ya got that?”


Joel nodded, and then got back to his map.

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In case you thought that all of my rewrite was spent on cutting the text down, I figured this would be a good example of how it's about so much more than that. Did you pick up on the key difference between the versions? Perspective. I have previously talked about how my narration used to become confusing because of head-hopping. This is when the narrator switches character perspectives without any warning.


There are some subtle examples of head-hopping in the original, where the narrator gives the thoughts and intentions of multiple characters. In the rewrite, the perspective stays with Joel the whole time. We only get his thoughts and motivations. I think that this made the first meeting between Joel and Alistair a little more memorable and fun.


For example: Joel thinking that he'd run into a stone wall, only to look up and see a big, husky guy scowling down at him. Or when Joel couldn't help but laugh at Alistair's voice, which didn't quite match up with his look.


One more subtle change that I wanted to call attention to is Henic's introduction. In the original story, Henic's character arc is predicated entirely on his interactions with the fictional metal, black gold, and trying to overcome its addictive qualities. However, in the rewrite, I've given him more character and more motivation, and at pretty much no cost to me as the author. Everything fits in well with the story, and it all begins with Joel bumping into Alistair, and Alistair being noisy about it. Henic trying to stop his outburst, so as not to draw attention to himself, is meant to say a lot about him right from the start. He's a guy who likes to keep his head down; to blend in. With each passing chapter, it'll become more apparent why.


I think that I'll make some more alterations to this on the second pass through. I'm concerned that an overuse of ALL CAPS in Alistair's dialogue could become grating to readers, and a few parts are so obviously there to describe what characters look like that it's a little distracting. Still, despite being a bit longer, I think the new version is clearer and more memorable. Do you feel the same way?



Might as well stick with the Star Wars motif...



Comparison 3 - Giving In


Original Version

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After a long period of the group clanking their pickaxes against rock, Henic threw his axe down in frustration. The others stopped swinging and looked over at him.


“I’m sorry my friends, but I can take this no longer!” he said, then bent over to pick up a piece of black gold ore. Joel rushed over to stop him, but it was too late. Henic held the chunk of rock close to his face and examined it with a child-like curiosity. There was a sense of dread about the air, but after a few moments, nothing changed.


“Well? Do you feel any different?” Conrad asked.


“No. I feel fine. It is beautiful, so I understand why people would be greedy for it. But I think anyone with a sense of will knows not to let material possessions take over their life,” he said.


Joel attempted to swipe the black gold out of Henic’s hand, but he saw it coming and moved his hand away to avoid.


“Really, I’m fine. You’re bein’ superstitious, Joel,” he said with a grimace.


“Are ya kiddin’ me? Yer tryin’ ta tell me that I’ve been givin’ away somethin’ that won’t do me any harm?” Alistair bellowed.


“Not only that, but it’s supposed to be valuable too. Mayhap we believed Joel’s stories a little too quickly,” Lucia said.


Joel, in an attempt to plead with his new friends, made hand signals over to Conrad.


“He’s trying to assure us that it’s bad to have black gold…” Conrad trailed off.


He looked upon Joel with sharp eyes and continued, “But I have to admit, your sources are questionable. Nothing bad has come from black gold up to this point, so if I’m going to continue believing you, I need to understand how you know of its insidious nature.”


The young man in distress made hand signals as fast as he could to explain.


“He claims to have witnessed black gold’s poisoning of the mind before,” the young blonde said.


The group started to grumble.


“If that’s the case, why have none of us ever heard about it? Who is it that was hurt by mere treasures?” Lucia asked.


More hand signals were made, and Conrad translated, “He says that he’s not supposed to tell anyone…”


“Not good ‘nuff, laddi,.” Alistair muttered in disappointed tone. He bent over to pick up a piece of ore. Joel reached out, but no words came from his mouth. Only light gasps, as if he were being choked.


The group looked over at the large redhead. Like Henic before him, there was a foreboding silence, but nothing happened. Alistair burst out in laughter. “I’m fine! We’ve been worried ‘bout nothin’!”


Next, Lucia picked up a piece. She examined it closely. A smile to her face, as the dark, sparkly substance put her mind at ease.


“Well?” Conrad asked her.


“It’s beautiful. Like no other metal I’ve ever seen,” she said. Her demeanor seemed more peaceful than usual.


“But is it affecting your mind?” Conrad asked for clarification.


“No.”


Joel shook his head at the response and flashed more hand signals.


“You’re asking me to put very much faith in your word alone. And the truth is, we only met yesterday. Why is that? Why have I never seen you around Faiwell?” Conrad asked.


Joel sent hand signals his way, but Conrad frowned in return.


“That’s not a good enough answer, I’m afraid. If you want me to take your word at face value, I’ll need to you to stop being cryptic and explain yourself.”


The mute hung his head as Conrad bent over to pick up his piece of ore. Like the others before him, he looked closely at what he had grabbed. A beautifully sparkling dark metal laid out in his hands, like a clear night sky. As the others had said, it was possibly the most beautiful metal he’d ever seen.


“I think for now; it should be alright to keep mining this material. As a precaution, I’ll only hold on to one or two pieces of ore myself until further notice.”


“A ‘precaution’?” Alistair got out before giggling. “What is there to worry about? You’ve seen fer yerself! It’s harmless!”


“Something about Ollie’s death still bothers me, that’s all,” Conrad said.


“Suit yourself,” Lucia said as she got back to swinging her pickaxe at the wall. The rest of the workers fell in line and they ignored Joel’s silent pleas.


Bit by bit, they gathered the black gold ores and stored them in their own personal bags. Joel began to sweat profusely, while the others leisurely went about their mining.

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Rewrite Version

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After a long period of the group clanking their pickaxes against rock, Henic threw his tool down. The others stopped swinging and looked at him.


“I’m sorry, my friends, but I can take this no longer!” he said before bending over to pick up a piece of black gold ore. Joel rushed over to stop him, but it was too late. Henic held the chunk of rock close to his face and examined it with a child-like curiosity in his eyes. There was a sense of dread about the air as everyone watched on in silence.


“Well? Do you feel any different?” Conrad asked.


“No. I feel fine. It is beautiful, so I understand why someone might be greedy for it. But I think anyone with a sense of will knows not to let material possessions take over their life,” he said.


Joel attempted to swipe the black gold out of Henic’s grasp, but he moved his hand away to avoid. The mute inaudibly groaned.


“Really, I’m alright. Yer bein’ superstitious, Joel,” he said with a grimace.


“Yer tryin’ ta tell me that I’ve been givin’ away somethin’ that won’t do me any harm?” Alistair asked.


“Not only that, but it’s supposed to be valuable, too,” Lucia said.


Panic began to overtake Joel. His earlier success in getting them to listen had only been false hope. As always, the allure of the black gold reigned supreme over his pleas; over reason. Yet, he had to try. He couldn’t simply stand there and let them be swallowed up by darkness. He quickly signed over to Conrad in a last-ditch effort to convince the group.


“He’s trying to assure us that the black gold will bring us harm…” the strategist trailed off before frowning back at Joel. “But nothing observably bad has come from black gold up to this point. If I’m going to continue believing you, I need to understand how you know of its insidious nature.”


Joel clenched his fists. How much more could he reveal? Saying too much might be catastrophic. He had to be careful. The mute made hand signals as fast as he could.


“He claims to have witnessed black gold’s poisoning of the mind before,” said Conrad.


“If that’s the case, then why have none of us ever heard about it? Who is it that was hurt by mere treasures?” Lucia asked.


More hand signals were made, and Conrad translated, “He says that he’s not supposed to tell anyone…”


“Not good ‘nuff, lad,” Alistair said in a disappointed tone. He bent over to pick up a piece of ore. Joel reached out and opened his mouth, but no words came out. Only light gasps, as if the life were being choked out of him.


Like Henic before him, there was a foreboding silence, but nothing happened. Alistair burst out laughing. “I’m fine! We’ve been worried ‘bout nothin’!”


Next, Lucia picked up a piece. She examined it closely and a smile came to her face.


“Well?” Conrad asked.


“It’s beautiful. Like no other metal I’ve ever seen,” she said.


“But is it affecting your mind?” he said.


“No.”


Joel shook his head at the response and flashed more hand signals.


“You’re asking me to put very much faith in your word alone. And the truth is, we only met yesterday. Why is that? Why have I never seen you around Faiwell?” Conrad asked.


Joel gritted his teeth. One by one, he was losing them. However, it was too dangerous to reveal everything. He had already told them far more than he was supposed to. The mute signed some more, but Conrad only frowned in return.


“That’s not a good enough answer, I’m afraid. If you want me to take your word at face value, I’ll need to you to stop being cryptic and explain yourself.”


He hung his head as Conrad bent over to pick up his piece of ore. Like the others before him, he looked closely at what he had grabbed. A beautifully sparkling dark metal laid out in his hands, like a clear night sky.


“I think for now; it should be alright to keep mining this material. As a precaution, I’ll only hold on to one or two pieces of ore myself until further notice.”


“A precaution?” Alistair said before chuckling. “What is there to worry about? You’ve seen fer yerself! It’s harmless!”


“Something about Ollie’s death still bothers me,” Conrad said. “And we can’t ignore that Edith’s plans involve the black gold.”


“Suit yourself,” Lucia said as she got back to swinging her pickaxe at the wall. The rest of the workers fell in line and they ignored Joel’s silent pleas.


Bit by bit, they gathered the black gold ores and stored them in their personal bags. Joel could only watch on, helpless to stop them. Aldous had warned him to take a passive hand with this group; to guide them from afar, but he had come to like these people in his short time knowing them. It made it all the more painful to witness the beginnings of their inevitable corruption. He eyed Conrad, the only one to let most of his black gold output lay on the ground. If he could convince anyone, it would be him, Joel thought.

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This is another example where the rewrite is longer than the original scene. In some of Gold Fever's more critical reviews, I've noticed a theme where people had trouble connecting with Joel as the main character. Reading negative or middling reviews can be very helpful for this reason.


The rewrite aims to make Joel more relatable. He's a mute who harbors a dark secret. He wants to prevent his new friends from taking the black gold, but abstaining invites persecution from the other miners, and they eventually give in. Because he cannot speak and because telling them the whole story would be dangerous, Joel is in a situation where he quite literally has no voice.


Now, this is something that I know people can relate to. We've all been in a situation where we know that a friend or loved one is going down a path that will lead to their destruction; or at least their inconvenience. Yet, no matter what we say or do, there is just no convincing them. It's a thousand times worse when an entire group is up against you. Think about it. You've been in this situation at least once in your life. It's not a good time!


With the narrator now squarely focused on one character at a time, we get a better look at Joel's thoughts as he fails to convince his new friends that taking black gold is against their best interests. All he can do is watch on in silence, but even after they don't listen to him, he hasn't give up hope quite yet.


There are other scenes as the story goes on, where Joel finds himself in a "me against the world" situation, but this marks the first time where even his own friends don't believe him. Before, the narrator only talked about how he had a secret, but not why he was keeping the secret. My hope is that this will make Joel a better character who readers can understand the motivations of a little easier.





So, those were a few comparisons that I feel highlight not only the changes in wording of the rewrite, but a change in approach. The story remains the same, but it should now be easier to read. I feel that it has made certain characters like Joel and Henic a bit more relatable, while keeping their character intact. Some moments, like Joel meeting Alistair, now have a bit more personality and flair to them.


But what do you think? Are the differences noticeable (In a good way)? Or am I wasting my time? Maybe both of those things are true?


Either way, I'll probably make my next log on the subject broader. Wix has really been chugging from all the text I've copy/pasted into this post, and it's going in slooooooowwwwww motion, right before my very eyes. It's kind of a pain, so I'll cut it off here. See you next time!


- Jim



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