On May 19, 2018, I started writing my first web novel series, Oh. My. Fate?!. As it often is with new things there is a bit of trial and error involved and now that I’ve almost reached the end of the fourth volume of the series I sometimes look back and think “Damn, I could have done better!”.
As a consequence, as of December 7, 2018, I’ve started to work on a revised version of Oh. My. Fate?! that I hope will be a lot better. This version is running on my Tapas site with one chapter a day so that I don’t have to slow down the regular releases. I’ve decided to only upload the revised version on Tapas for now so that it’s clear to everyone which version is which and not confuse readers who start the series later on.
Today, I want to take a closer look at the differences between the first version and the revised version so that ‘old’ readers will be able to judge whether they would miss out on anything if they continue to read the first version and so that new readers can decide more easily which version to read.
The good news first: There will be no major changes to the plot so regardless of which version you read you will, in general, read the same story and not lack any vital information.
Differences in regard to language
The first version of OMF, unfortunately, has a lot of mistakes language-wise, especially in the first volume. There are mistaken words and confusing sentences and I have to especially apologize for my inflationary use of punctuation. Honestly, even I myself can’t bear to look at all those commas.
The revised version has a lot less of these mistakes (and much, much, much less comma!). Although I can’t promise that there won’t be any mistakes at all it’s definitely a lot more readable. Especially in the first volume, I have rewritten (and will continue to do so) several parts too so that the sentences are more easily understandable.
Differences in regard to details
Besides the mistakes in the language department, there are some things that are, well, sometimes wrong or not too logical and sometimes just written so vague that they’re not really tangible.
For example, there’s Jing Yi’s age. In the first volume, there are several time skips where he grows from an infant to a three-year-old and then to a child of about nine years. In the second volume, there are other time skips again, one where he ages about five years and then the other one at the end of the volume where a year is spent traveling with Qiu Ling. All this is so vaguely written that most of the time it’s rather unclear how old he is exactly. This isn’t that important in the beginning but becomes more so in the later stages when he is already with Qiu Ling and also tries to find his place in the Yun Zou Sect.
So, in the revised version these details will be made a lot clearer. There might also be some small changes to the length of the time skips and thus Jing Yi’s overall age.
An even more prominent example of the problem of my vague writing is found in the third volume: When Jing Yi meets Niu Hai and is shown to the alchemy division I glossed over it pretty fast making it sound as if Jing Yi (who is illiterate at that time) was reading the plaques above the doors of the buildings when, in fact, he was just looking at them and it was Niu Hai reading them to him as is stated in a later chapter.
Differences in regard to content
While the revision certainly makes OMF more easily readable and hopefully clearer in regard to the details the biggest difference still lies in the content itself. I already said that there won’t be any major changes to events in the series but there definitely will be a difference in the depth provided. Overall, there’ll be several new chapters in the revised version. For this, I’d like to give some examples to give you a better impression of what to expect:
- The start of the novel
The first version started off with Shun Tao reporting to the Heavenly Emperor and then jumped to Jing He leaving and Qiu Ling following him. We didn’t really get to see anything of Jing He and the thing about the trial was rather intangible.
The revised version starts off a week before that with a meeting between Jing He and Qiu Ling in which Jing He informs Qiu Ling of his impending trial. There is another chapter in which Shun Tao consults Jing He on the matter of the trial. The chapter where Shun Tao reports to the Heavenly Emperor a week later is slightly longer now and includes a conversation between the Heavenly Emperor and his wife Bai Fen. The following chapter where Jing He leaves for the mortal world is also expanded and has some actual interaction between the two of them.
- The time in the capital and future mentions of Shao Hai and Xiao Dong
In the first version, Jing Yi’s time in the capital is mostly glossed over. We get to see him arrive and have a look around which leads to meeting Shao Hai and, later on, Xiao Dong. Unfortunately, the friendship between those three wasn’t really explored because, well, the volume seemed to get too long so I left the part out that seemed least important. Unfortunately, this came to bite me back later because those two should have had a major role in volume 2 and future volumes that didn’t work as well as I would have liked.
Thus, in the revised version there will be more on Jing Yi’s time in the capital especially in regards to the other two boys. At the same time, I’ll also expand on their role in the second volume as I had originally intended to do.
- The journey of Qiu Ling and Jing Yi
After the time in the Yun Zou Sect, Jing Yi and Qiu Ling went on a journey that was only referenced afterward and never explored in detail. This is a problem because this is the first time when Jing Yi and Qiu Ling actually spend time together as something like a couple and it is also a part where Jing Yi finally gets to grow up a bit. Honestly, I’m not even sure myself why I came up with the idea of leaving exactly that part out …
In the revised version all of this will naturally be changed. I might not write about the whole journey but at least parts of it will find their way into the novel. Maybe this will even turn into a whole new volume but I’ll see how it goes when I arrive at that point.
These are just three examples of the changes I’ve made or want to make respectively. There will be many more and I hope that all of them will make this a better series that you can enjoy reading more. 😊