Keep an eye out on my blog for the cover reveal of Uprising (Children of the Gods #2) on Wednesday August 22nd. It's awesome!
We now return you to our regularly scheduled blog post already in progress.
Ok, I need to get this out of my head so I can continue writing my current WIP. I've learned a lot writing my the first draft of Stone of Unity. Not surprising considering the act of writing is practice for future writing.
Very zen and circular, I know. Deal with it.
Anyway, I wanted to impart some of the things I have learned about the process and the story as it unfolded through the first draft. For those of you crazy enough to follow me on twitter, you may have seen me talking about possibly rewriting the entire thing. For those of you who have finished your novel, you may know what I'm talking about.
Some of my betas are freaking right now, and I can assure them, that Stone of Unity may change significantly, but the characters you have come to know and love will still be in there. The plot should stay mostly the same, but I have decided to shift the focus a little (or a lot depending on how you look at it).
Here is what happened. Partway through the first draft, one of my side characters decided that she was one of the main characters. This caused some shifting, but I was jumping POV from chapter to chapter, so it wasn't a huge deal. Then I considered moving chapter 2 to chapter 1 and vice versa. Ultimately, this didn't do much, but it did cause my brain to start really altering the story mid-way through.
This started more thinking.
Then I decided to post said new Chapter 1 on the WriteOnCon forum/online conference. It was fascinating and I got some feedback. This is the feedback I got that really got the ball rolling in my head.
The idea that there's a grumbling mentor figure who will undoubtedly become lovable in our eyes, and a smart young girl about to embark on a journey with this man.Then I started thinking...and thinking...and thinking...and I realized that my focus was completely wrong on this story. I needed to narrow my focus a bit and write the story that people wanted to see. So, I have my chainsaw ready to hack my story to bits. Hopefully the sound of the engine will drown out the screams of my betas.
So the lesson?
Oh yeah, I did promise that...
- In the first draft, nothing is sacred
- Sometimes secondary characters are more interesting than primary characters. Don't hesitate to swap them.
- Don't feel bad if you need to hack off chunks of your novel. This doesn't mean you are a failure, it just means that it isn't working. I've seen several authors on Twitter talk about chopping 20K or more from a story because it wasn't working. Their stories will be better for it (even if they lose a little more of their sanity in the process).
- Do not delete any of your work. Start a new project file/folder and start from there. You never know when you'll want to refer back to it.
P.S. September sign-ups for #writemotivation are going on right now. Click here to sign up. It's awesome and very helpful.