Sunday, January 27, 2013

{Guest Post & Giveaway} 10 Things that Changed from SCARLET’s First Draft by Marissa Meyer


Guest posts, reviews, and giveaways abound!  
&
Welcome to A Week of Little Red in celebration of our favorite scarlet-caped heroine...
not to mention the launch of Marissa Meyer's SCARLET!
Check out my daily schedule of events!
Grab some promotional buttons for your blog
and stop back all week long for fun guest posts, exciting author visits, giveaways, reviews,
and blog tour stops for SCARLET!

Stop back at A Backwards Story this week for more SCARLET goodness, 
including a book review and an audiobook excerpt!


~*~
SCARLET is Marissa Meyer's sophomore novel and the sequel to New York Times Best Selling Novel CINDER!  CRESS and WINTER will conclude the series.

Check out Marissa's website for more information, and find her on Twitter

Follow the Lunar Chronicles Series on Facebook!



"10 Things that Changed from SCARLET’s First Draft”
by Marissa Meyer


I wrote the first drafts of the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles (CINDER, SCARLET, and CRESS) during one month—November 2008. Yes, it was as crazy as it sounds. Although it was good for me to get all my ideas down in one fell swoop, in the end I had three incredibly rough drafts and a long, long period of revisions ahead of me. A lot of things are so different from that original draft of SCARLET that parts of it are almost unrecognizable from the book it eventually became. 


Here are 10 things that changed significantly during revisions: 

1. The first draft was 52,000 words long. In comparison, the final published book came in around 105,000 words. Subplots and characters were added, stakes were raised, and the climax (and build up to it) went from 30 pages to about 150. Yikes! 

2. Scarlet was a waitress. In the first draft, Scarlet was toiling away at a job she hated in order to scrounge together every cent she could (see #3), putting up with drunk patrons and ungrateful bosses. The first chapters still take place in that pub, but now Scarlet is running deliveries for her grandmother’s farm. This occupation fits her character—and the story—much better. 

3. Scarlet’s grandmother was a slave—er, “servant”—being kept in America. This is one of the biggest changes that occurred during revisions. In that first draft, Scarlet knew just where her grandmother was, and she was attempting to save money in order to buy her freedom. So the entire plot having to do with her grandmother being kidnapped, which the final book hinges on, didn’t exist until the second draft. Likewise, I chose to keep the entire book in France rather than move the climax to America. 

4. Wolf had amnesia. In the first draft, Wolf knew nothing about himself, his past, or where he came from, and lots of time was devoted to him and Scarlet trying to figure this out. 

5. Travel between America and Europe was prohibited due to plague outbreaks. So when Scarlet and Wolf had to travel to America to rescue her enslaved grandmother, they had to be very sneaky about it, as the entire American Republic had shut down its borders in order to keep the plague from spreading to their country. One of my favorite scenes took place in the back of a trading semi-truck traveling from Canada into America that Scarlet and Wolf had stolen away in—that scene still exists (more or less) in the final book, but it’s now aboard a maglev train. 

6. Captain Carswell Thorne’s name was originally Alexander Woods. Then, and now, I envisioned Thorne as playing the role of the woodsman in the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, so Woods was an easy name to come up with. However, I kept getting confused between the two male leads (Wolf and Woods were too similar), so I decided to change it. I’m now much happier with the name “Thorne,” in no small part because it relates more strongly to the role he’ll be playing in Book 3: CRESS (which is based on Rapunzel). 

7. Scarlet’s spaceship was named Little Red. She still has a delivery ship in the final draft, it just doesn’t have a name. I was worried that the too-obvious fairy tale reference would pull readers out of the story. 

8. The werewolves were much more… paranormal. There are “werewolves” in the final version of SCARLET, but they’re scientifically engineered werewolves, and I did my best to make their abilities fit with the world-building I’ve already set up. Alternatively, in that first draft, they had a much more magical bent to them: shapeshifting with the full moon, etc. 

9. Neither Kai nor Queen Levana made an appearance in this book. In fact, per the original outline of the series, we wouldn’t have met Queen Levana until Book 4! But that was one of the first changes I made as I revised CINDER and it made sense to keep both Kai and Queen Levana as major characters throughout all four books. 

10. Princess Selene’s identity remained a mystery. Of course, if you’ve read CINDER, you know that Selene’s identity is revealed at the end of the book (and hinted at much earlier). But when I was first drafting this series, I honestly didn’t even know myself who the princess was—there was a time at which she logistically could have been Cinder, Scarlet, or even Cress, and my intention had been to keep readers guessing until Book 4. This ended up not working at all though, which forced me to make a decision and reveal it in Book 1. Therefore, the first draft of SCARLET revolved greatly around gathering clues as the characters attempted to track down the mysterious Lunar Heir. 

Now that you know what happened in the first draft, I hope you’ll enjoy discovering what actually happens in the final book!
~*~

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Title:  SCARLET
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Publisher: Macmillan / Feiwel and Friends
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. 


Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own. 

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

And now, enter to win 
a paperback of CINDER and a hardcover of SCARLET!
One lucky winner in the US/CA will win both books!

I usually use forms, but for A Week of Little Red, I'm going to try out Rafflecopter...
Let me know what you think of moving in this direction, and let me know if you have any issues!
I still don't fully understand Rafflecopter, lol!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

62 comments:

  1. Can't wait until Scarlet comes out! Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it would have been interesting to see how Scarlet would have been written if no one knew who Princess Selene was.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm guessing it would have been a very different story. I can't wait to read Scarlet and compare it to this post.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can't wait for the recurring characters that we already love. Thanks for the giveaway!

    Liz x!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for an inside look at SCARLET's revision process. It's always interesting to see how a story evolves from first draft to second and so forth.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was a great post! It's always great to hear more about how a story changes from revision to revision. It's encouraging because I often feel overwhelmed when I realize that I have to change my own stories so dramatically. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is really interesting to see how much the series has changed from rough to final drafts! I love that Princess Selene's identity was going to be a mystery. I think that would have been pretty rad!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I thought it was interesting to see how the book could have turned out

    ReplyDelete
  9. So excited to see the story continue in Scarlet. I already thought Cinder would be good but it blew me away!

    ReplyDelete
  10. very interesting to see what could have been. thanks for the giveaway

    kmichellec87(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. It's really cool to see how much changes authors go through. It makes me feel better about my own writing, which I change more than I'd like to admit lol.

    Thanks for the sneak peek, and for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've been lucky enough to read Scarlet already, so all of these tidbits were even more enjoyable because of Marissa's references to Book 2!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Gosh, I just love to hear that Marissa Meyer wrote ALL THE DRAFTS for the first three books in one month! That is so awesome and inspiring! Creativity on FIRE!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I love that the ship had a name!!! Too bad it changed :(

    ReplyDelete
  15. I haven't read the series yet, so I don't know how what didn't happend compares to what did happen, but I can't wait to read the series and find out. It was cool to get an inside look at Ms. Meyer's thought process!

    ReplyDelete
  16. The thing that I like the best about reading this is actually the hope it gives me as a buckle in and get to work on the third draft of my own book, which is going through some growing pains of its own. The fact that others have been there and made it through is very encouraging.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I loved hearing more about Wolf and Thorne! It's fun to know that both characters changed so dramatically from conception to final draft.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I like to see the process that some authors go through when writing. It helps me appreciate their work alot more. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Great post! I loved the spaceship name :). I can't wait for Scarlett! Thanks for the great giveaway <3

    Jasmine

    ReplyDelete
  20. This was such a cool post! It's easy to forget that sometimes the finished product is so different from what it started as (and ah, the spaceship name! how cute!).

    Thank you for the wonderful giveaway :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. It's always great to hear about the process of making a story into a true novel. I can't wait to read the finish product!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love the backwards novel! The writing in Cinder is fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Wow. I can't believe that's what the first draft looked like. The final is definitely better! Amazing job and transformation!

    ReplyDelete
  24. More words are always better!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I liked the little trivia behind the author's thinking process for the book. I actually loved the idea of us guessing who Princess Selene could have been. Sort of like a mystery throughout all 4 books. That would have been fun. :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. Very interesting! It's great to read about how the story evolved into the one now. It's so different than the final book!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow, I never realized how much a book could change! I can't wait for Scarlet!! Awesome Giveaway!!!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks for the great post! I can't wait to read Scarlet!! :D

    ReplyDelete
  29. Comes out RIGHT before my b-day and i am sososososoosososos psycheddd!! <3 thx for the giveaway

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. best thing from the list personally, i liked that Kia and Leveena weren't in it. Eh, i personnaly am just not uber fond of them

      Delete
  30. I'm glad the werewolves were changed to be more scientific because if it had been more paranormal, I think it would have been a bit weird because it seems kind of off with the already established world.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Ooh, ooh, ooh, a giveaway! I LOVED Cinder, and it's been killing me to have to WAIT FOR IT! I bought Cinder in Feb 2012, so it's been almost an entire year - I hope the wait for Cress is not nearly as long *fingers crossed*! I love reading about the evolution of your story. The same types of things happen in my stories. I hate having to remove favorite scenes completely, but sometimes they just don't work. It always makes me want to write something like fanfic for my own stories - lol - set in an 'alternate universe'! :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I loved how many changes went into the book. Some writers seem to be able to put it down in nearly its final form the first time through. It's nice to hear about someone who logically worked through revisions she didn't foresee from the beginning. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  33. very interesting to read how it could have turned out!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm glad the later revision was longer! More content-- a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Love how the editing process works. Hopefully, it will make it even better than it was. :O)

    ReplyDelete
  36. I think it's interesting that Kai and Queen Levana would not have appeared until the 4th books! I'm glad that changed because I think both of those characters make the books more interesting! This is a great post and I loved reading about how the book changed! Thanks for this amazing giveaway - I would love to win!

    Suz Reads

    ReplyDelete
  37. I liked how the travel between America and Europe would have been cut off, so Wolf and Scarlet would have had to have been sneaky. I enjoy sneaky XD

    ReplyDelete
  38. All the changes sound good, Especially the first one where the book is much longer :)
    Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  39. You got an evil Queen, a big bad wolf and Scarlett, why more could you want
    vera28546 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think you're right in saying that naming Scarlets spaceship Little Red would have drawn readers out of story. I like that that was changed and it remained mysterious :)
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  41. I liked reading about how it could have been. It's always interesting how an author's mind works!

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love how it is much longer than originally planned! I hate when I read that authors cut back so much for early drafts!

    ReplyDelete
  43. Princess Selene’s identity! I think that is an interesting change.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love how you get to see what the writer was thinking before and after. I can now read the story and think to myself hmmmm this could have been completely different if this had happened or if this had happened. It is interesting to see how much something can change, especially when you read a book and think, "I wonder what the author was thinking when they wrote this part."

    ReplyDelete
  45. I think how much the length changed! But honestly, all of the changes were interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I read Cinder a few months ago and it easily became one of my favourite books. It's weird to think that is could have been a totally different story. I do think it would have been interesting to have Princess Selene's identity revealed in the final book. Super excited for Cress now too!

    ReplyDelete
  47. I love learning how things change from the original drafts to the final version of the story! I especially thought it was interesting that Wolf was originally supposed to have amnesia.

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have both Cinder and an ARC of Scarlet since November and haven't had a chance to read them. They will be my next series to read. I didn't really want to read the original draft because I haven't read them yet. Like some of the above comments I also enjoyed reading the original draft. I haven't read an original draft from any other author. I would love to see more authors share their original drafts with us. Thank you Marissa Meyer for sharing this with us. I would love to win this series and send it to my sister who hasn't heard of this series before. I know she will love reading this series!! Thank you for a chance to win and for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!

    ReplyDelete
  49. I think it's cool! I love reading original ideas and drafts.

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  50. I think both drafts would have been awesome! Thanks for the great giveaway!!
    Ashley A
    ash_app@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thank you for the lovely post! It's really interesting to find out tidbits like this! I don't know if I could make it through a whole book without wondering what Kai was doing! /fangirl And I think it's interesting to know the Princess could have been any one of the three girls because this part is very well hinted at in Cinder and I never would have guessed anything but! Ah~ I'm assuming this was originally a NaNo project? It sure came a long way! Thank you for the fun insight/post and giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I thought it was interesting how much a book can change from the beginning to the end of the writing process. It never occured to me that a book could change that drastically from what was first planned. Thanks for the interesting information about what sounds like a great book.

    thompsonem3 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I haven't read the book yet but have heard sooo much about it would love to win

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am very impressed that you "wrote the first drafts of the first three books of The Lunar Chronicles (CINDER, SCARLET, and CRESS) during one month—November 2008." I must say that without having read the available books in this series, they are all probably very well-written and too good of a read to put down. I love the storyline for Scarlett that you provided in this blog. I am excited to read about your versions of these fairy tales!!

    ReplyDelete
  55. I love the fact that as a writer, Marissa Meyers was able to look at what she had already created and have the courage to tear down the walls that weren't necessary and rebuild them to fit the story.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I am SUCH a Prince Kai fan so it's good to see him making an appearance in Scarlet! I've been DYING for this book like no other! Can't wait!

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

    ReplyDelete
  57. I love seeing how books evolve, how ideas change.

    ReplyDelete
  58. I'm still waiting to read Cinder.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I am just glad that the word count doubled and added subplots and other characters. Also, it is just interesting to see how a story evolves.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm glad that Prince Kai will be making an appearance in Scarlet. I loved him in Cinder. :)

    ReplyDelete
  61. Great series! :) I just stumbled upon it when I found your "Week of Rapunzel" post. I hope you'll do a "Week of Snow White" as well when "Winter" comes out!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to stop and comment! I appreciate it more than I can say. I try to respond to each one!