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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Upcycling after Kindle Worlds

With the closing of Kindle Worlds coming up in July, many of the KW authors are working on revamping the stories that will be republished without the connection to the original CANON material.  Besides renaming the characters, which can be a struggle on its own, there's also the matter of introducing the characters that you've renamed - especially if they originally belonged to original canon books.
Having read the original books, readers who purchase the KW story would know the people who would appear as secondary characters within the 'fanfiction' of a KW story. Inclusion of these CANON characters would link the stories to the original series and give it a tangible connection.
When my son was in his Junior year of High School he was cast in a production of "the Fantasticks" and I got to do the costumes, props, set, choreography, and lighting... Why am I bringing this up? The process of making costumes on an extremely TINY budget is taking one thing... and turning it into something else.
Matt is a 'college man' so I thought I'd give him a collegiate look... I found a sweater at Goodwill for the princely sum of $2 on clearance...
And then I found a lighter colored binding tape at the fabric store and figured out where and how much to cut from the sweater to make the cardigan. Pinning works well, but eventually you actually have to cut the garment. (this is where the sweat and anxiety really come to play) - Mess up here and it's back to Goodwill for me... After the cut, pin and sew and then add two bands to the arm to finish the look.

It looked fabulous on our blond Matt whose green and white and jeans blue color scheme looked great with Louisa in her blue calico dress....
What, are you asking, does this have to do with reworking a book?
It's the steps you have to take to breathe knew life into it. And like my sweater ---> letterman's jacket conversion, it might not take a lot of money... but it's going to take time, planning, and editing.. maybe a few times...
So what am I doing for this transition/transformation?
Names are the first specific changes that need to happen.
They say, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but will it really?
Would Harry Potter have been as famous if his name was Periwinkle Dullard? Probably not, but you'll never know what might catch on...
So.. here's how I slugged through the renaming of most of a world.
There's a town map with business names - and I made an excel spreadsheet of business names, and those businesses have owners, so I add their names, and then the names of the main characters and families in the series.
One Column - CANON names - Second Column - NEW names - and then four columns because I have four books in the world.
Two main families in the town... So I started with two last names
And then started searching Story File #1 - Finding Home for the names on the list... when I got to a business that appeared in one of my stories, I picked a new name.
Search and Replace.
When I found a character that's in the story, I picked a new name. And then, you guessed it. Search and Replace.
So where are the names coming from? Sometimes it's an association.
Mr. Dabney became Mr. Coleman. Hmmm... I wonder why? Because I'm a Cloak and Dagger girl (the movie from my childhood, not the new show)
A female character named Lucinda became Flora, because I was in a production of "Into the Woods" and played Lucinda... whose sister is Florinda - but I shortened it to Flora.
Some of the characters from the original CANON were main characters in my books, because fans had asked about the characters and their HEAs - That meant I had to find Two new male names and One new female. Renaming Jordan was easy and happened in moments, but Kyle and Roman? I went through three names apiece before I found the names that I was happy with.
All three of the CANON characters were given names with the same number of syllables for their first names. It's probably my music background that makes me concerned about rhythm.
As I went along through the files, I found characters that I hadn't put in my chart and then added them to the excel. If a character was found in a story, I filled the box with color. If the character didn't appear in the story, I added an X in the box. I had to keep this organized... between the four books there's approx 175K words... it's going to be crazy fun making sure everything is taken care of before I resubmit this story it's NEW incarnation.
Let's see what else comes up as I'm working through this series of Four books...  St. Raphael, CA

Book 1 - Finding Home
Book 2 - Playing With Fire
Book 3 - Healing Hearts
Book 4 - Taking a Chance (coming in a week or two)

CANON - In fiction, canon is the material accepted as officially part of the story in the fictional universe of that story. It is used as the basis for works of fan fiction (Kindle Worlds)


  1. Reina, this was so interesting. I have went through my six former KW books much the same way. The difference is that I used family names or names I simply like from that time period. One of mine is now on sale again and the other five are up for preorder. Changing all the names, as you mention, is time consuming as is checking and checking to be certain the job was thorough. I'm so happy to have my stories back, though. I kept the same covers and my designer just removed the banner and logo and replaced the original banner with my series name. I hope we have good luck with sales on these reincarnated books!

  2. Good luck! I love your city graph.


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