If I could go back to the beginning, if I were to start Dark Legend over, what would I do differently? Even though it has been through so many changes in its life there are definitely still a few things I would do differently.
It would start differently for one thing. I would either expand or change the prologue. I’d make sure Wayne had more of a role in the first book- Maybe put him in at intervals, researching Will, whilst the main action goes on around him. Otherwise I think I would concentrate on DI Fisher investigating the events of the the current prologue, being a bit sceptical and then coming across the graffe himself. Then at the end he would set out to find Will… At which point we do the six month time jump that happens at the end of the current prologue.
If ever there was to be another TV version I would have this as the thrust of the first episode. I would start with Wayne going into Police Tower and reporting the incident at the Serpent’s Fall, with a few flashbacks as well. What I’d also include in this currently non-existent first episode are all the various things that are mentioned but not seen- Rusty Barnes’ funeral, Greg and Joe in the sewers, Dan becoming infected… I’d use the first episode as a better introduction to the characters and a way to introduce the ‘legend’ concept, to set up the media storm that engulfs Will. That, in a visual version, would need a lot of setting up- More than it does the books. In the books I can get away with having it all in the past, explaining it in-retro, and I can allow the reader to use their imagination, but television is much more demanding. On television that would just be an info dump.
I’d change Eliza’s arc as well. At the minute her arc is too man dependent- Her motivations stem from the actions of men (alright, it’s men being arseholes that cause her actions but still…) I’d want her to have a much different motivation, less masculine-centric. I’d make her opposition to Will’s fight against the graffe front and centre, more apparent. I’d focus more on how her reputation is underserved (rather than just a few lines) and I’d make sure she gets a different ending as well. The ending she currently has leaves me a little uncomfortable.
The actual ending, when I get around to it, will be different to the original version- The change is tiny (in the grand scheme of things) but it’s now way more tragic and emotional for the surviving characters. The chances are that they’ll all be f***ed up for life. I do worry that it may confuse people or that people will really hate it (there are some who DEFINITELY will hate it but hopefully I can write it in such a way that most people like it.
Overall I’ve already made most of the changes I wanted to make- I’ve already altered Eliza’s ending once from what it was originally (where she died and was never mentioned again) and the book I’m writing at the moment, No Angel Born In Hell is almost completely different thanks to some of the previous changes I’ve made. I’ve pulled forward at least two arcs that originally formed part of the last book (because both work better here and it means I can plough straight on to the climax without muddying the water.) One character who was there originally now isn’t (because I needed a better way to get him in place for the ending) and one major character death that originally occurred here got pushed forwards into book four. This happened because some elements of book four were also changed, especially the second half of the story after Jack’s fortress is overrun (It changed because I dropped an original story arc involving androids and an insane priest.)
I do think that there would be problems if I wanted to change any major component at this stage though- Maybe if I get that TV version.
BUILDING WORTON IS A SERIES OF POSTS GOING BEHIND AND BEYOND THE SCENES OF THE DARK LEGEND BOOKS (SPAWN, SWARM, STOP THE CAVALRY AND STING) AND THE MORFAVERSE AT LARGE.