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News: Mentorship, Returning to (And Rewriting) the Novel! | Matt Sloan
reading or writing nook surrounded by books and shelves

News and Updates: Mentorship, Returning to (And Rewriting) the Novel!

Blog Novel The Shadows at Sunrise

Hey readers!

It’s with a whole lot of excitement and pride that I can say I’m returning to The Shadows at Sunrisemy long-gestating, long-suffering fantasy novel. This comes with a whole lot of other news and announcements, and hopefully a return to regular blogging and updates. So, I won’t waste any time. Let’s get started.

Acquiring a Mentor

I’m really excited to note that the awesome Carrie Harris, author of a whole bunch of YA spec-fic novels and graphic novels, has signed on to be my mentor for The Shadows at Sunrise. We’ve been working together for a few weeks now, and she’s unbelievably only the second person to have read the novel in its first draft, needs-a-lot-of-work entirety.

Thankfully, though, she loved the novel as it currently stands, and didn’t hesitate to note many places where the story can be improved. We’re working on a section-by-section basis, so far up until the first pinch point, before moving on to the next. I’m confident her feedback will continue to be revolutionary in developing the plot to a point where I am finally happier with it.

De-shelving the Shelf

You know, I really didn’t expect to figure out the plot problem that caused me to admit defeat and shelve The Shadows at Sunrise. I thought that was it. I was done. I was disheartened and devastated to lose something which defined part of my identity for almost a third of my life. And yet, sat in a world-building workshop run by NI-based author Jo Zebedee, that something clicked into place. Then another something. Then all sorts of clicking, like dominos falling down. Suddenly I felt invigorated again, and things began to make sense. I didn’t let my hopes get too high, but I started making some notes right there and then, ensuring I’d covered all my bases. I saw a path through the woods, then, and it made so much sense.

Big changes were necessary. This was still true. The novel was written over such a long period of time, and my writing so changed, but I actually felt like I could achieve it.

Further Planning

So that brings us to now. I’m working with Carrie on redrafting the first act, expanding the opening to incorporate more elements and set some things up for later. This is a good thing. It’s going to be hard work but it will be indisputably worth it in the long run. I’m not going to get into the changes here, but it opens things up to a lot of further conversation right here on the blog. I want to chart my progress here in the hopes someone will enjoy reading it.

Upcoming Blog Content

Some upcoming blog content I’m looking forward to producing, in no particular order:

  • Information on an awesome writing retreat I’ve attended a few times.
  • Writing to Music: The Soundtrack for The Shadows at Sunrise.
  • Character and World Bios
  • Exclusive short fiction related to the world of The Shadows at Sunrise.
  • Why I’m moving The Shadows at Sunrise from Sligo to London.
  • Inspiration boards.
  • Personalising my Writing Area.
  • Other short fiction.

Any other suggestions or ideas for content, please don’t hesitate to let me know either via the comments below or by email.

Looking forward to this, folks!

Until next time,

Matt

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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