After some short story work recently, I’ve gone back to expanding the opening of my third Guardian of the Opera book. Things have been cut up and moved around and I set the opening of the book a week earlier than I originally planned, putting four new chapters in at the beginning.
Revisions. They’re unpredictable! I actually thought Book II would need far more structural revisions than it ended up needing; apparently Book III is balancing that out.
Adding more to the beginning gives me space to reintroduce a lot of characters and concepts, plus both Meg and the reader have to wallow in the Book II cliffhanger a little bit longer. I also started Meg counting days, something we’ve more often seen from Erik!
Here’s a piece opening my new Chapter Two.
I began counting the days since the day of the mob, since I had last seen Erik, since he might have died. I counted even though I had no idea when it would be time to give up hope. I had found the daffodil on the second day. The Phantom’s body—supposedly—had been found on the third, and I had gone to Erik’s rooms that same afternoon.
On the fourth day I was sitting with several other ballet girls on the Opera’s front steps, dallying before it was time to go in for the morning rehearsal, when I saw Commissaire Mifroid crossing the plaza, walking towards the Opera.
A chill went over me as I looked at the policeman, in his dark coat, with the shiny buttons down the front. It had been him, all along. He had kept pushing, kept trying to find Erik, for months and months. If it hadn’t been for him, Jammes never would have gone looking for information, for whatever favor she thought she could curry with the managers or Carlotta, the lead soprano, or with Mifroid himself. Without Mifroid, my stupid mistake leaving the directions in reach wouldn’t have mattered.
With Mifroid, Erik might be dead.
And Mifroid might be the only one who really knew.