When I first published my Fate of Atlantis
novelization in June 2013, it was an immensely gratifying moment. It was the culmination of a nearly four-year endeavor, one that I believed to be as perfect as I could possibly make it. Satisfied with my work on the story, I was eager for a well-deserved break. But fate had other plans for Atlantis.
In December, I was recruited by game designer Patrik Spacek to work on a contemporary remake of Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
. In essence, my feature-length novel served as a resume of my knowledge about the game. I quickly found myself in the role of creative consultant as Patrik shared numerous designs for the demo-in-progress, seeking my critical opinion. I considered this happy distraction a reward for all my hard work in bringing the novelization to life, and I was pleased to contribute my expertise to the project. Amid this creative endeavor, my writing came to the attention of IndyMag, a new online publication devoted to Indy fandom. The editor wanted to publish my novel as an illustrated monthly serial. I gladly obliged, relishing the opportunity to get my story out to a wider audience. What I hadn’t considered was the logistics of porting a moderate 350-page novel to serial format.
Having written the novelization for web-based reading, some of the chapters were in excess of 20 pages—impossible to print in a 6-page magazine allotment. The editor suggested that I revise the novel. That was absolutely the last
thing on my mind. I was burned-out on the story. I didn’t mind writing new Special Edition dialog for Indy and Sophia, but I was absolutely finished with the book. It was online for the world to enjoy, and I was done with it.
Then I saw the preview of my first chapter in IndyMag. Being a natural perfectionist, I began making little corrections to the text for the print edition. But the fledgling publication was beset with delays, and the subsequent lapse between formatting and premiere day allowed me time to revise each chapter for public consumption. Soon, my initial reluctance to revisit Atlantis was forgotten in my enthusiasm to give Indy fans the best possible story. So, I dived back into Atlantis once more, armed with my editing scissors.
In reviewing the story, I was able to address a number of narrative problems that were brought to my attention by sharp-eyed readers. Chief among these, several historical errors I had overlooked in my zeal for writing the adaption. I was literally researching on the fly as I wrote each chapter. The remaining issues were discovered in the process of revisiting the novel after so many years. In an effort to expand the story, I'd written several lengthy scenes which unnecessarily diverted the storyline. These went to the cutting room floor, along with a slew of extraneous banter between our protagonists in the course of their journey. I also excised a vast amount of tedious description for the sake of simplicity. Less is, quite often, more, as the adage goes.
Longer chapters were divided at natural break points, with the goal of reducing each chapter to 7 - 12 pages. All told, I shaved off about 45 pages from the manuscript, creating a much leaner narrative that, I believe, stands up nicely alongside the Indy films and the original Bantam novel series. Now, I hope that fans of the game will enjoy experiencing this classic Indy adventure in a shining new format which will give a renewed appreciation for Hal Barwood's epic masterpiece.
See you in Atlantis!
Fate of Atlantis e-book