a peak inside the editing of SURRENDER by Elana Johnson
Writing the Beginning of SURRENDER
A guest post by Elana Johnson
Okay, so writing the beginning of SURRENDER happened many, many times. It took me quite a while to determine who the narrator was going to be, and then once I did, I had two. Who should start? Gunner or Raine?
The edits came back with a note like this: “We want Violet to be mentioned right away in the book, so POSSESSION fans will know this second book connects to the first.”
Or something close to that.
The problem: Gunner narrates the first chapter—and he doesn’t know Vi. There was talk of switching the first two chapters—something I didn’t want to do because that would require switching ALL the chapters, and I liked the way the book ended.
So how to work Vi into Gunner’s first chapter? How to make sure readers knew they would see Vi, that SURRENDER connected to POSSESSION?
I agonized over this. I loved how my book began. I didn’t particularly want to change it, but I saw the wisdom in my editor’s notes.
So I did what all good authors do: I left it until everything else had been done. Ha!
Then I opened the book, and really examined the beginning. I wrote about 5 new pages—completely new!—for the beginning of SURRENDER.
You can read the first two chapters here, and see the new beginning. It’s about 7 pages in the printed book.
The original SURRENDER began just after the scene break in chapter one, on pages 8 – 9, when Gunner arrives home from school and catches him mom hiding the microchips in the safe.
I still love that beginning. I like the new beginning too, and I was able to get Vi in very soon, as well as use the space to world build a little bit. So it ended up being a win/win.arrives home from school and catches his mom hiding the microchips in the safe.
If you’ve read POSSESSION, are you happy you get to see/hear about Vi very early in the book?
We’ve read it, and we’re glad Vi is there!! Though you made us totally fall in love with Raine that we had to constantly remind ourselves that we still loved Vi!