Thursday, July 10, 2014

Progress: The Fun Part

I finished editing the first two books of the urban fantasy trilogy. The second book wound up needing a major rewrite to tighten up the plot and add tension and give some of my characters something to do. I'd meant to kill off a character, who survived in the previous draft. I fixed that.

It was not a fun change to make. I was morose for a whole day. I hope that helped me capture the fallout. We'll see. I have a crit partner reading it now. I realized after I'd sent it that I overwrote the ending, but I'll fix it.

Finishing that means I get to go back to the dragon story. I spent most of the holiday weekend typing the first book, and editing as I went. I got to know and understand the characters while writing all three books, so there are aspects I have to make sure I include from the start. I can also see holes where I neglect one or another of my ensemble cast, so I know I'll have to go back and give them something to do. I've slowed down the development of one plot point, cleaned up some of the redundancy and rambling, and spaced apart the reveals more.

Last night, I had to delete about five (double-spaced, rewritten) pages, because I was trying to resolve a conflict too soon. Characters needed space to ponder ramifications and illustrate their sincerity and make amends. Solving it too soon would let a character off the hook, and stunt development. The conflict wasn't even there in the first draft, but it became an essential turning point. I know it'll need more tweaking in later drafts, but I'm pleased with its addition.

I think that reflects my biggest writing weakness. I'm always in such a hurry to get to the good parts that I don't give enough narrative space to the buildup. An awful lot of my rewrites involve delaying plot points or leaving loose ends hanging a while longer. Maybe I can put a patch on my pantster ways by writing myself notes about scenes I'm excited to write or factoids I need to drop casually into the narrative. It's worth a shot.

When I wrapped up last night (okay, early this morning - I don't sleep well in summertime, so I might as well make my insomnia productive), I was at 64,250 words, with about half of my handwritten draft typed out. So, yup. It's an epic fantasy. Among other genres.

What I didn't expect was that I'm really enjoying what I've written. I'm looking at the words with a critical eye, but I keep running across turns of phrase that crack me up. My main character couldn't be more different from me, and has a quirky way of viewing the world. I hope the character's voice makes the series's concept easier to stomach. It's not fully revealed until the end of book one.

I'm actually excited at the idea of people reading this book. A little embarrassed about all the sex, but I've managed to pare it down to a less embarrassing degree. This is a story I could share with the people who've asked to read it without disclaimer.

Well, maybe not all of them. My co-workers may have to wait for it on store shelves. I don't want to know that people I know in a professional capacity have read it.

That's not all I'm working on. In my between times, I've been writing the third book of the urban fantasy trilogy. I've only ever written one draft of that book (as opposed to dozens of the first, and a handful of book two), and what I wrote isn't worth preserving. There's been a major thematic and world-building overhaul since I wrote it. Plus, it's tedious as hell. I feel a lot better about how this draft is turning out. In my typical fashion, I'm not completely sure how it'll pan out, but I have a lot of things to keep the characters occupied in the meantime.


  1. It seems like you're having a very productive summer :-)

    1. I am! Sadly, real life continues to exist. If I didn't have to work, I'd probably be typing up book 2 by now.