I’ve been writing Woven for a long, long time now. At least, it feels like a long time. I started writing it in July of 2014. And I’ve talked often about how much I’ve changed over the course of the last four and a half years. Like, a lot a lot.
What I haven’t talked a lot about is how Woven itself has changed. The story went through a ton of drafts and evolved with every one of them. So today, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the biggest changes I made to Woven before anyone ever saw it.
Lenore’s Grandmother got put on a bus
When I first wrote Broken Patterns, Lenore and her mom had a great relationship. It was her obnoxious, overbearing grandmother that was the real old pain in the ass. She was rude, demanding and ran the whole castle.
In the end, though, it rendered Lenore’s mother completely useless. Worse, the grandmother wasn’t fun to write. I didn’t feel like she was adding anything positive to the story that Queen Lorna couldn’t bring. So, I cut her. And the scene’s she was now missing from got way tighter.
Elder Marcus was going to try to kill Lenore at the end of part one
The scene where Elder Marcus loses his temper and hits Lenore was way darker the first go round. He was going to try to strangle her to death.
I decided not to do this for a couple of reasons. For one, he would have been killed immediately by Victor, hands down. And I knew I needed him for other books. For another, he was a pretty smart guy. Losing his temper and hitting Lenore was one thing. There’s no way he would have snapped and tried to kill the princess of the kingdom.
Stella was going to go to war with Devon in book two, and get kidnapped
In book two, Devon leaves his dragon student, Stella, in the capital when he and Sultiana go to war.
Originally, I’d planned for her to go along, and be kidnapped by the Kussier during battle. This got cut for a lot of reasons. For one, it was one more storyline in an already large book. For another, it just didn’t make sense for Devon to take her. The dragons are adamantly peaceful, and there’s no reason Devon and Stella’s mother would have still been allies if he’d taken her into a war zone on purpose.
Mergin was going to die in book three
If you haven’t read book three, spoiler. A lot of people die. Mergin, Sultiana’s steadfast assistant, was almost one of them.
Honestly, I decided to not kill her because it was just too much. Too many characters had already died, and I didn’t see a good reason to kill one more person.
Octavian was going to be a bad guy
You know that line about dying a hero or living long enough to become the villain. That was what Octavian was going to do.
I decided instead to kill him because I sort of already knew that Prince Joseph was going to be a bad guy. And, of course, Victor already had his epic battle with Calvin. So I didn’t really think we needed another evil brother. Having a great loss for Lenore and Devon early in the series seemed better.
The other noblemen had a much larger role
The first draft of Broken Patterns had a huge coming of age section where nothing exciting happened, and Devon found out he sucked with a sword. He and the other noble lords attended classes. Lenore went to the temple and worked with the other Daughters in the hospital and kitchens. And that, my friends, went on for chapters. No battles, no fun. Precious little magic.
It was all boring as hell. I’m sure you can see why I cut all of that.
All the noble families had one boy and one girl
This was just bad writing on my part. Every single noble family had a daughter and a son. I don’t think I need to explain why I cut a ton of unnecessary characters. I do feel like I should have some sort of explanation as to why I did that in the first place. Sadly, I have none.
Sultiana was going to have an alternate identity
This is one storyline that I really worked hard until I realized it just didn’t work. Sultiana was going to meet Devon early in book one but as a servant girl. It wasn’t going to be until the end of book one that she revealed herself as the princess.
First off, that’s a dirty and overused cliché. Second off, it was again just more complexity that the already bloated storyline didn’t need.
I do miss some of it, though. There was a cute scene where Sultiana and Devon share a bowl of grapes. Later, when Sultiana’s trying to get his attention, she leaves grapes outside his door. There was another scene where Devon admits to being in love with a servant girl, and his father explodes on him. All this happened in front of Lenore, who then vowed never to tell anyone she was in love with Victor. That scene worked, but it was too much of a storyline to hold up one good point that could be made a different way.
It was only going to be one book
This was the most surprising thing to me at first, because before I wrote Woven I never really had a story long enough to be a full novel. And so when I started writing Broken Patterns, I way overwrote. This is a habit that I haven’t broken yet. (Sometime in 2020 I’ll be putting out a novel that started it’s life as a prolog to book one.) So the whole story was going to get crammed into one book.
Super glad I didn’t do that. That’s one thing about the Woven stories. They just keep on growing and growing.
The city of Septa has barely had a moment of peace since the death of their king, Michael. Lenore, the princess, and heir, hopes that she and her husband, Victor, can bring some stability. Meanwhile, her brother Devon and his wife, Queen Sultiana, come to visit and meet Lenore and Victor’s twin daughters. Sultiana comes with a heavy heart, having just miscarried her own child, and lost her father.
Instead, Lenore finds herself battling against her uncle, Joseph, over her right to the throne. As he stirs the city into civil war, an ancient enemy reveals itself. Brother Brennan, who claims to speak for The Creator, is killing Septa citizens in the streets.
Then, Lenore’s daughters are kidnapped. While Victor and Devon hunt the city in search of the princesses, Lenore and Sultiana must lead her city in a war against her uncle, and a twisted holy man. The canals run red as Lenore fights for her city, her family, and the safety of the world, in the conclusion of Woven