RISQ Changes

First off, thanks for the interest, comments, questions, and support about the Ripples in the Status Quo (soon to be renamed to The Fate of the Fallen) series. I love playing in the world and tormenting the characters, and it’s a major compliment to hear any of these things. Very much appreciated. <3

I’ve been promising to write a blog post on what the hell I’m doing, because there’s been some back and forth and waffling. I truly apologize for the confusion, and thank you for sticking around while I figure it out. If you want to skip the rambles about the series in general to the changes to the books, I totally don’t blame you. There are some asterisks to mark where I started rambling about that.

When I first started writing this series, it was meant to be two trilogies: Khaz and Noah’s story, and Ashton and Reese’s story. They were going to be in the same world, but their paths weren’t going to cross except for maybe a cameo. Elias and Jace were meant to appear in a single book and that was it. These were the first books I wrote and published, and I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t want to venture too far out of my comfort zone, so of course I went out in left field.

As I was writing, I realized I had strong ideas for where their stories would collide. I got feedback along the same lines as my thoughts. And I was addicted to writing Elias and Jace, who I knew could be major catalysts along the way.

So Bought, Ravel, and Recoil were now part of the same series. I wrote Owned (which is my favorite of the series, in no small part because my best friend edited for me and helped me make it what I wanted). I switched to self-publishing, revised the first three books, and went about my business. It took me awhile to realize that it wasn’t the best plan in the world, because the three books have vastly different tones, they have different characters, etc.

But it was a little late at that point, unless I wanted to do total rewrites. I had a lot going on, and I wanted to keep moving forward to see what would happen. I wrote Temper, which… is not my favorite for a lot of reasons. I’ll get into that a little later in this post. I got the idea for Puppy and knocked it out in a ridiculously short period of time because it was just fun. I wrote Refraction.

The series has never done particularly well, and I’ve thought about setting it aside several times. Each time, I came back to it because at the end of the day, this is a story I want to tell. I was offered a publishing contract for the French language rights to the series. And that was when I started to mess up. There were some other things going on, but essentially, I considered this a chance to try to fix the problems I knew were there.

I was really excited about it. I had a lot of ideas, and I was sure I could make the series better and potentially more approachable. I started working on it, but I had a lot on my plate. (This is the part where I cackle maniacally, because I have no idea how I was handling it all.) It got pushed back, but I really wanted the re-release out on a certain date.

Then I had a crisis in my personal life, and I’ll admit my heart just wasn’t in it. I knew better, but I released it anyway because I had committed to it and didn’t want to be wishy-washy. I was disappointed in it, feedback was not good, and I just didn’t have the time or energy to put in the work that I’d intended to.

So I made the decision to pull down the rework, which I considered a failed experiment. Instead, I decided to just revise them and put them back up one by one when I was happier with them. Not a perfect solution. Not a solution I really wanted. But it was something. I commissioned new covers for them anyway because of some issues with not having the original files and needing them for the French translation and a few other things, but that’s going to take some time. Eventually, they’ll go into print. They’re short, but hey. I’d like to hold copies of them anyway.

At this current moment, Bought, Ravel, and Recoil are back up on Amazon. Unfortunately, their rules on updates aren’t very friendly, so I can’t get the content pushed out, and I don’t even think you can request it. If you have the originals and you want the new versions, let me know and I’ll get them to you. You can do it now, after I have the new covers, both times — I don’t mind. Just send me an e-mail at raissa(dot)phoenix(at)gmail(dot)com or send me a message on Facebook.

Owned is next up for edits, then Temper and Refraction. The covers are in process. I owe my cover artist some images, and she’s working on one. I’m (slowly) working on getting the paperback versions done. It’s not hard, but it’s time-consuming. I want to work on my outline for the series and take some notes on things I want to make sure I don’t forget to go back to. I have an idea for an Elias/Jace book between Bought and Owned, and I have plans for the 7th book (tentatively titled ‘Sanguine.’). At some point, probably once the covers are done, I’m changing the name of the series to ‘The Fate of the Fallen,’ which I think fits better. So there’s a lot going on there, it’ll take some time, but I’ll be happy at the end of it all. Hopefully. 😉

*****

All of that said, here are the quick (haha, right, like that happened) notes of what has changed and what I expect to change. Note that the expectations may well go out the window when I sit down to actually do the work, because I’m apparently a masochist. I am revising all of them for content, clarity, and overall feel, and I’m correcting typos and errors as I go. (And probably making more.)

Bought:
*Removed the Jace/Spencer flashback scene. The information in this scene is still ‘canon’ to the series, and this scene may find its way in at a later date. Either way, I didn’t feel like it benefited the book to have it in. (It’s far more fun to drop in little hints and clues over the course of the books than to tell everything at once!)
*Rewrote the Elias/Spencer scene. The original scene didn’t convey what I wanted it to, and I wasn’t that happy with it. For what it’s worth, I absolutely love the rewritten chapter.
*Adjusted the timing for the rework… and then promptly left it so vague in the edits  that I don’t think it’s obvious how much time passes. We’re going to say this was intentional, ‘kay? (Nah, I’ll answer this when I finish playing with the outline. I’m not a huge detail person, in case you haven’t noticed that, but I know it matters, especially if I work on the book between Bought and Owned with those two lovelies.
*Added more internal conflict for Jace.
*Smoothed out a few things with Elias that were somewhat contradictory.

Ravel:
*Rewrote the first part of the first chapter. This was originally done for the ‘rework’ to account for continuity between the books, but I ended up liking the rewrite a lot better, so I left it in.
*Removed the first sex scene. Yes, yes, I know. I’ve already been fussed at. But for your amusement (or at least mine, but I’m easily amused), I will share the (somewhat spoilery) gist of the conversation I had with a friend about it that led me to make the decision…

“…This doesn’t even make sense. How even? The way Ashton throws himself at Reese? Nope. I mean, okay, hurt/comfort, but it doesn’t work. And because I took out a lot of the ‘insta love’ elements, it doesn’t make sense anymore. It’s like… ohai, obligatory sex scene…! Seriously, wtf? How the hell do I even fix this? AND! He doesn’t shower first! He came from the slums! He’s filthy! WTF Reese! Make him bathe!” And then a lot of whining.

*As said above, I removed a lot of the ‘insta love’ aspects. During the reread, they didn’t feel right, and I think with the changes, it’ll read more organically. The road will be a little longer, but I think the journey will be better and they’ll have a healthier relationship because of it. (And, seriously, we need a healthy relationship in these books.)
*I smoothed out some of Ashton’s back-and-forth in his head. His issues with supes aren’t terrible, but they are there, and I think they were a little too contradictory at times. Hopefully it’s better now.
*The, er, scene. Big spoiler here, so I don’t want to come out and say it. But you know how he does a bad thing? I tried to explain that a little better.
*Holy crap, people. Typos. TYPOS. That’s all I’m saying. Ahem.

Recoil:
*There were several references to things that happened off-screen, and it was a dynamic I loved. But it was almost solely telling, not showing, and I opted to alter the dynamic in the existing scenes some instead of doing a ton of rewriting. (Noah and Khaz getting under each other’s skin. It’s still there, but I don’t think it’s as ‘hey, you didn’t see it, but it totally happened.’)
*Added a Noah scene to smooth out continuity — again, addressing the telling, not showing, thing. I felt like there needed to be a chapter from his POV sooner in the narrative. I had wanted to add another scene with him (right before Khaz’s POV with Mays), but it wasn’t really working so I left it out.
*I felt like Noah’s shift was a little too abrupt, so I moved some things around and reworded, added, etc. I think it makes better sense now.

Owned:
*I don’t anticipate many changes. This is my favorite book of the series, and I’ve been really happy with it. But this is me we’re talking about, so who knows? 

Temper:
*This is where the major changes come in. Some of the things I did in this book were because I felt obligated to for various reasons. I stalled out several times writing this book, and it was because I was trying to write something I didn’t really want.
*I think a certain event was unnecessarily detailed, and while I’m not taking it out, I am going to try to work with it until I’m happier with it. This graphic scene wasn’t meant to be sexy, and a lot of it can be condensed and referenced. I don’t want to back off completely, but I think it’s excessive as written.
*I was actually appalled by the victim-blaming comments on this book. One of my biggest goals is to try to figure out where I went wrong.  I don’t want to spoon feed, but at the same time, I’m doing the series a real disservice if people are coming out of this book feeling that way about this character.
*There’s a Khaz/Noah cameo in here, and while I know exactly where it is in the timeline, I know it’s not super obvious. I’m going to see what I can do here, which may be a grand total of nothing.

Refraction:
*This one’s still pretty new, and I was very pleased by how it turned out. I like the tone, the style, the feel, the story, the characters… I had a lot of help with the more fast-paced actiony scenes, and I think it paid off.
*I plan on adding 1-2 Elias/Jace scenes. I had one written in the original draft, but I took it out based on some very good feedback that basically amounted to, why the hell are you condensing all of this into one chapter? This could easily be 3-5 chapters of the next book and deserves that attention! And since I love those two… I didn’t replace it at the time, because I didn’t want to add in something rote just because. Based on the changes to Bought, I have a few ideas.
*There’s something that happens at the very end that I questioned a lot when writing the original draft, then again when editing.  It was pointed out to me that it was too soon, and I went back and forth and decided to ultimately go with it.  Now, I realize I shouldn’t have. So chances are, Khaz’s confession is coming out.

…Phew. Okay, if you read this far, I commend you. I swear, I’m going to be keeping this just as notes to myself so I don’t forget things. So. Er. Yeah! I look forward to sharing all of this with you.

With all my heart, I thank you for reading the books and reading this.

<3

R.

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