I’ve just published new chapter of Where Heaven and Hell Meet V.2.
I’ve done a lot of thinking and rewriting for this second version, based on:
1. All the comments and ideas you gave me, mainly:
a. The sheriff kept suggesting that Athens and Helga communicated with each other, which barely happened in V.1. IN V.1 they will talk a lot and allow the reader to learn who Athens is. This will also allow the reader to understand Helga’s transformation from a cold and calculating, never-aging, teen bitch into a human being who cares about her friends. It’ll also explain why Helga decides not to leave Athens’s body when she discovers she can (because she’s grown fond of Athens and doesn’t want to kill her, something that will inevitably happen when Helga leaves Athens’s body).
b. Suin suggested that Patrick should be less stupid and shy. He will. At first, he’s still the loser he’s always been, but will grow into a brave guy that will defy the Brotherhood for the love of Athens. He’ll love the Athens-Helga binomial despite everything and anything. Despite the fact Helga is in love with Mr Oxford. Despite the fact Helga is the one the Brotherhood is searching for and the one he’s been told to spy on and help to seize. Despite the confusing fact of interacting with a person made from two different halves: Helga and Athens, each one with their own agenda, each one controlling of the body he sees at different points in time. He’ll be the loyal, lovely, nice boy of every teen-age story that every teenage-reader falls for.
2. The comments from my editor (RIP) that she sent me before she passed away (don’t think I can communicate with her or something of the sort):
a. The Brotherhood needs to be less a protagonist and more a background threat. There should be a coupla scenes here and there where the Brotherhood appears (mainly Buchanan pulling the wires), reminding the reader the threat they represent, but I should reduce their on-stage time, increasing the teen-characters’.
b. I need to write more every-day scenes where Melissa, Helga/Athens, and Patrick interact. The objective of this scenes must be to explain how is it that Helga, an I-don’t-care-about-anybody-but-me bitch in the past, grows fond of her two friends and, in the end, grows as a person.
c. Helga’s background was too fuzzy. Some flashbacks may help the reader to get a better picture of her. Also, these flashbacks must serve the purpose of being the mean through which she recovers her memories, rather than recovering them in one single shot. In this way, the reader grows closer to Helga.
The basic plot, while still the same in the general lines, will have some changes:
a) Athens, one of the popular girls, tries to commit suicide after being bullied at school.
b) Helga enters Athens’s body after fighting Mephisto, the devil.
c) The Brotherhood asks Patrick to spy on Melissa and Athens.
d) While turning into their friend, Patrick spies on them. New: at some point, he’ll realise the truth: that Helga is trapped in Athens’s body, and that she’s the one the Brotherhood has been looking for. At this point he’ll decide not to give Helga away and will pretend to be cooperating with the Brotherhood.
e) Helga keeps on flirting with Mr Oxford until they have sex.
f) The Brotherhood discovers the truth, not because of Patrick’s reports, but because of other reasons.
g) The Brotherhood intimidates Patrick, ordering him deliver Helga/Athens to them.
h) Patrick escapes with Helga but is intercepted by the Brotherhood who has also kidnapped Melissa.
i) The end is more or less the same you V.1 readers are familiar with. I’ll emphasise Patrick’s role in it, but the outcome will be the same one. In the end, Patrick will swear Helga eternal love and loyalty, thus emphasising he’s the cool boy who loves the girl despite the girl being not-cool with him (because the girl is flawed, not because she’s a “bad” character).
Because of the changes, the story’s length may increase a lot. I’ve have always thought of writing a trilogy. This story, rather than being book number one as originally planed, may well turn into books one and two, while a third one, which I started writing but stopped because of the above changes to the basic story, will be the closing of the part.
I’ve been working a lot on this second version, that’s why I’ve been a bit away, but I’ll will start posting the rest of V.2 soon. And, of course, I’ll be reading your stories so we may keep interacting.