Same Story, Different Novels

Had an interesting experience this week: Writing the same scene in 2 different novels.

In Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail,  I’ve been rewriting/severely editing about Arthur and Kay’s boyhood with Merlin. Here’s a couple of paragraphs with The Grail telling the story (or course she can communicate):

Kay spent even more time at our cottage, and would have just moved in if his father had allowed it. Arthur’s foster brother was slight and awkward—you could already tell he was never going to be a great knight—but his mental agility more than made up for it. Arthur never really cozened onto mathematics, but Kay ate it up like it was fresh bread with honey. Sometimes they would play an early version of chess that Merlin had brought back from the Middle East; other times they would just match wits. Arthur was Merlin’s pupil and his hope for the future; Kay was more like a son.

Those were blissful years. After some carpentry work and a few helpful spells and wards, the cottage was cheerful and warm even in the English winters. Soon all the available surfaces were cluttered with piles of scrolls that just showed up from who knows where, dried herbs, sparkling crystals, bits of bone, and the like. Whenever the weather allowed, the four of us spent long hours scouring the coun­try­side on horse­back, exploring and learning. When the cold drove us indoors, the three of them would often lounge in front of the hearth reading while I watched over them and felt motherly.

Here’s a paragraph from Sir Kay, Chapter 41 (which we will be getting to around May 30th. Hmm, I’ll be in Singapore then. Wonder how that will work?):

Even as I spoke, Morgan’s description tweaked a deep memory from way back in my subconscious. “You know, I think I may have seen it. Up on a shelf in Merlin’s cottage.” I shrugged. “Obviously it didn’t make all that much of an impression on me, or I would have asked him about it.”

One of the reasons I’m having to revise so heavily–besides the fact The Grail’s telling of her story in BS&HG sucks on occasion–is that the Arthurian stories don’t match. For example, Morgan le Fay is a very evil person, which we all know isn’t true. But here, it’s obvious that the Sir Kay version is going to have to change. Glad it didn’t get published first.



4 thoughts on “Same Story, Different Novels

  1. Ah, the problems with prolific-ness, so to speak. See? If you’d only had one book in you, this wouldn’t be a problem. But I am most glad that you have many stories to tell.

    There is a possibility that I have one or two follow-ons to Unfinished. I’m guessing it helps to know that going in. Who knew when you wrote Bradley Schuster that you would have an entire Arthurian canon in the works?!

    Maybe the young Kay and Arthur know that Merlin has a “special” cup, but only as (older) adults do they consider that it (probably) is The Grail?

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