Monday 22 October 2012

Radiance - Reflections, Plans and Revisions

Writing Radiance
Almost exactly a year ago, I first put finger to keyboard to begin to write my Kabbalistic Fantasy novel, Radiance. 35 chapters and 50,000 words later, the first draft of Radiance stands complete.

Originally inspired by my Yom Kippur resolution to be more creative, and my discovery of National Novel Writing Month (NoNoWriMo - which I slightly overshot...) it's been quite a journey, and one I've really enjoyed.

Having said that, I've had the basic story of Radiance floating around my head for about five years now, so it's rather strange that it now also exists in fully-formed words, that others have also read. It always feels good once an idea has moved from brain to paper, and yet it feels a little empty too - much of the creative work has been done, leaving the editing, the rewriting, the revising.

How has Radiance changed in that time?
My earliest thoughts had the sexes of Asher and Virgo reversed, keeping to the classical kabbalistic sense of Malchut as female and Tiferet as male. But ultimately I doubted my ability to write a female protagonist, and wanted to break the assumption that Malchut = female. I don't know if that was the right decision, in the end, but I also don't think I can go back.

Blogging the Novel
The process of blogging my novel has been valuable in ways I didn't imagine, strange in some, and less useful than I hoped in others.

I felt I made a promise to get a new chapter out every week, and knowing that I had some regular readers who would be disappointed if I didn't was a very motivating force. Without that I would probably still be writing it.

Given that I am someone who, in person, rarely discusses my writing or promotes myself, it was rather odd when people I'm facebook friends with would mention the book. I'm almost certain that most of them hadn't read it, but realising that they knew about it itself was strange.

And finally, blogging it has not been the source of as much feedback as I hoped it could be. This is I suppose natural in that everyone is busy and may not have much to say on a chapter-by-chapter basis. Still, I have received some comments, all of which are greatly appreciated and which I hope to use in my next revision.

Where next?
I would like to keep up my creativity levels and maintain posts once a week (possibly shifting to Monday) but if my creative energies are diverted to rewriting, what should I post?

Some thoughts: Older poems from my backlog, more religious reflections, each chapter as I rewrite it, or my science-fiction novel - the Book of Josiah.

If you have any thoughts on this I'd love to hear them.

How will Radiance be rewritten?
Some thoughts I've had about elements that I'm not totally happy with, or which could be expanded:

1] More on the attraction and sexual chemistry between Asher and Virgo.
2] More detail on Asher's early training, building up the characters of the Seven.
3] Ostar, Mercury, Li and Rahko all need a bit more air time.
4] Reorder the opening chapters, extending the flashback sequences.
5] Increase the biblical idioms and allusions throughout the story.
6] Change the Gevurah verses to something more powerful/memorable.
7] Review and rewrite several elements - the joke in chapter 1, Asher's songs.
8] Consider if/how Emma's story can be expanded, more time on her journey and relationship with Eliav.
9] Delete the dates in the first few chapters (a failed experiment, I think) and consider other ways to show the passage in time.
10] More Messianic imagery and overtones, perhaps setting up a potential sequel of Asher vs. Armilus, the Jewish Anti-Christ.

Final Thoughts
Thanks for following along, and I hope you'll be back next Monday for more Mythic Writing. 


  1. I agree with most of the 10 points. I'll try to email more detailed feedback via email sometime in the next few days!

    1. Thanks Daniel! Looking forward to hearing more.