Friday, November 11, 2011

Progress post: Book 2, draft 2

The second book in my trilogy is tentatively titled, "Reincarnation."  The first draft I came up with was an utter mess, and has a lot to do with why I had to go back and do a fourth draft of book one.  I needed a stronger foundation for the later novels, and I'd figured out some parts of my characters as I wrote.

Right now, I'm three handwritten pages into this draft.  I am, more or less, starting from scratch.  I'm adding a perspective character, tightening the narrative, and letting plot happen in the first 100 (double-spaced) pages instead of letting the characters wander.  I'm going to read through the first draft to see if there's anything salvageable, but, mostly, I'm scrapping it.

I've gotten some flak from my writing group for my perennial rewriting, and I've read and heard writing advice that says to stop picking at one book, to move on to the next one.  The thing is, this story changes so much from one rewrite to the next, that it feels like a whole other book.

I do agree, in principle, that there comes a time to set the book free to see the public.  But I also want this trilogy to survive, to be published, to be read and adored.  It can't do that if I just let it go.  Just in my rewrites, I've already learned and developed so much as a writer that the first and latest drafts could've been written by different people.

There will come a time when a rewrite would change the story so drastically that I might as well write something else.  There will be a moment when I can go a few months, reading other writer's perspectives on the craft, without realizing I'm making a stupid mistake in my trilogy that I need to fix.  It will never be perfect, I know, but it's my story, and I get to say when it's done.


  1. *sigh*
    LOL I suppose you do.

    But yeah, I get it. And looking forward to seeing how much its changed.

  2. Believe it or not, I am making progress. When I was a kid who'd first learned to type, tap-tapping away at a keyboard until the wee hours, I'd stop and glare at anyone who came in and tried to read over my shoulder. No one else has ever read my early attempts at fiction.

    That's a very, very good thing, by the way. I would've had to die of shame.

  3. I hope this 'never want to let it go' feeling eases with time, further rewrites, and publication. I have a few essays and short stories that are just about ready to be sent on their way to potential publishers, but I just can't seem to let them go!

  4. I hope so, too. I'm taking it in steps. One day, it's letting it go enough to let the writing group see it. Another, it's letting beta readers (and my dad! Yikes) see it. One day, it'll be sending it off on its own in this lonely world to make its own way.

    So, I think I'm making progress.