Today we're talking about the prologue and Chapter 1. Don't forget to join us on twitter #cvreadalong.
Did you know that CHARMED VENGEANCE was originally called "Never-Contented Things." This is a line from the Edgar Allan Poe poem that's inside the books. It was supposed to capture how no one's really happy in book 2.
Other potential titles included:
Following Darkness (as in "following darkness like a dream" from A Midsummer Night's Dream, also quoted in the book)
James and V's Excellent Adventure
Okay, this prologue is chock full of feels. Originally, this prologue didn't exist. There was no prologue. What happens here was part of Chapter 1 and told from Noli's POV.
Writing in Charlotte's POV was difficult. I'd also never written in her POV before.
Little known fact: The original plan for Innocent Darkness was supposed to have Charlotte and James' POVs in the story, and include what happened when she left Findlay, and when James goes to look for her and Jeff. But by the time I got that far into the manuscript, I realized that adding in those POVs would make the story way too long. But I know what happens, and one day, I hope you will, too.
The section from Kevighn's POV was originally at the beginning of Chapter 2. Because I felt it was powerful and wanted to keep it, I moved it to the end of the epilogue so it would fit with the story.
As I mentioned above, the original Chapter 1 was the sacrifice from Noli's POV. It also included things such as the friendship Noli had developed with the sprites Breena and Nissa, the high queen's handmaidens, and a (literal) run-in with Ciarán, the dark king.
It was changed to be a prologue because
a) It was really long
b) It was in the Otherworld, when most of the book really takes place in the mortal realm
c) Since Charlotte was the one being sacrificed it was more powerful being told by her
Here's how the original Chapter 1 ended.
The already thick and heavy air grew near-tangible as it swirled round and round like an invisible dervish. Finally the air sighed; but it wasn’t a long-suffering sigh, or a tired sigh, but a happy contented sigh that seemed to start at the top of the world and continue all the way down through everyone and everything in the Otherworld.
Noli drew in a sharp breath as something changed with such ferocity she could feel it in her very core. This must be what V had meant when he said he could feel the magic shift.
The queen held up her hands and gestured to the crowd. “The gift has been accepted, let the festivities continue.”
The people roared with cheers and applause, causing the area to reverberate with joy.
Noli watched James—who’d never cry in such a public place—as he crouched over Charlotte’s broken frame, her pretty gown soaked with blood. Finally, Noli turned into V’s shoulder and pressed her face into it, tears streaming from her eyes.
Gone. Charotte was gone. And nothing would bring her back. Ever. It was as if her heart had been ripped out of her chest then stepped on while it was still beating.
“It’s over, Noli,” V whispered, wrapping his arms around her.
Sobs wracked her body despite his comfort. V would never quite understand. Yes, the magic would stabilize. Sure, the Otherworld and all its citizens would continue to exist.
All of that didn’t negate that fact that Charlotte was dead. Because of her.
Chapter 1 as it is now starts with Noli's brother Jeff coming to visit. This was originally Chapter 3. I love this chapter since we finally get to meet Jeff.
To research this chapter I rode on the antique merry-go-round at the Santa Monica Pier, which is still very much as I described in the book. The pier Noli and Jeff visit is based on this one, though the pier wasn't actually built until 1916 and the merry-go-round didn't arrive until 1922.
This chapter really makes a more fitting Chapter 1 because it establishes the rest of the story. We still get an insight into Noli's dual-nature. Most importantly, the idea of Noli going to work on Jeff's ship is introduced along with the thought that she doesn't want to leave V.
What did you like or dislike about the prologue and Chapter 1? Do you like this title or one of the discarded titles better. Tell me here or on twitter using #cvreadlong
See you tomorrow!