Time for a rewrite!


After putting this aside for eight months, followed by a few weeks of working on the outline, I'm ready to dive back into Book 2 (Sentinel). Technically this is still the 3rd draft because I'm keeping most of the chapters I started last November, but considering how much the outline changed since then, it's probably more like a 4th. And when I say "draft," that term probably isn't right, either. It's the 3rd rewrite. I always think of a draft as editing the same story and this one has changed so many times that "3rd mess" might be the better term for it. The only connection between this and the first draft are the characters, but that's how I roll with any of my stories, really, lol.

-The first draft of this story gave me trouble with the main characters, so I ended up spending more time with the secondary ones because their story was going somewhere. When I realized the supporting cast was carrying the main plot (not what I needed when Adair’s the lead in this quartet!), I split them off and started jotting down ideas for that plot to go into the first book in the next trilogy. The good news was that Future-Me has a story ready to go. The bad news was that Now-Me didn't. So I tried again.

-The second draft was going nowhere fast because Etri is horrible at talking to people and he wasn’t moving anything along as the main POV character. I did steal this to use as a novella that I’m working on, though, so this draft will eventually become a story. Just not the book it was supposed to be. Etri’s great for short story and novella POV, not so great for a book POV. That worked out because I decided after this mess that Adair, Blythe, Dray, and Rosalie get POV for all four books and I wouldn’t swap in the others.

-The third draft died off about six chapters in, mostly because I had surgery last November, but this was for the best because I still didn’t know where the story was going after this point. This was when I realized that the book was all subplots and had no main one. Which, ya know, made sense considering that the more-main plot got moved into a different book and I never did figure out what the main dorks were supposed to be doing.

-Then I had two outlines, but nothing really connected together in either one. It was more like just a series of subplots vaguely strung together. Once I gave the dorks a plot of magic glitching across the city, they finally got a main plot, but I still had loose ends that didn’t really fit together.

-That brings me to two weeks ago, when I realized my neglected main POV character (Rosalie) was the missing piece. Her part of the story ties the main plot (and the secondary threads of the main characters) together. Yay! So the past two weeks have been spent working out time travel for her side of the story. I’m really enthusiastic about this book for the first time in years. Unfortunately I have a few chapters without much solid ideas for plot, but I think I can work those out as I move towards them when I write.

I like making posts like this because I'll be able to look back on it and see the process as I went through all these drafts. Future-Me who's looking back and reading this, I hope the story is finally the right one because after four years of rewriting and re-outlinining, please tell me I don't have to redo it all again. Anyway, this time around I did the outline on index cards instead of my usual sticky notes because that made it easier to shuffle around and it gave me more space to work. (The blues are actually blue and purple. My phone didn’t want to differentiate between Adair’s blue pen and Rosalie’s purple. Next time I'll use pink for her.) So I'm hopeful that I'll finally make some progress with this book! My goal was to work on book 3 for NaNo, but I doubt I'll have this one finished by then. So we'll see.

~Meri

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