Friday, January 10, 2014

Rewriting Step One: Admit You Have a Problem

Right now, I’m in the middle of some pretty heavy revisions on my Blue WIP.  My wonderful and dependable alpha even had a hard time getting through it.  It was a big experiment of 2013, trying to write without an outline and it ended up in a pretty big disaster. 

This novel was a sequel to my Red WIP (now ready for submission, yay!) and I wasn’t quite sure where I was going with the story.  Fast forward to November when I got the idea for the third book in the series. 

Series.  Did I seriously just write that?  Wow. 

Anyway, this book was the story of another one of my characters, set several years after the sequel.  The world had changed, and many of the changes occurred because of what happened in the second book.
Or, at least what SHOULD have happened in the second book.

But I was stuck.  I couldn’t figure out how to fix all of the errors in the second book and still have it bridge from the first to the third book.  Then, a week ago, my husband and I took an impromptu road trip to see my family.  9 hours driving through the snowstorms of Wyoming gave me plenty of time to think.  And not get distracted by the internet or anything else.  I pulled out my brand new tablet and took notes of what I wanted to keep.  And what I needed to scrap.

Usually, when I write stories, I start with the outline.  But I already had the basic idea for this novel.  After all, I’d already written it.  All I have to do is completely rewrite it and fix all of the parts that don’t work. 

Fortunately for me, I knew exactly what wasn’t working for the story.  Most of the characters.  Because I hadn’t planned, I didn’t know what they were doing or where they were going.  So this time, I started out with character bios.  I don’t go too in depth with most characters, but with these ones, I pulled out an excel sheet and made a table of all of the characters.  I then wrote their motives and needs.  For every single character.  As I did that, I realized that I was missing a character.  There was no major antagonist, no one whose needs and desires clashed with those of the protagonist. 

Enter Aza.  Let me tell you, she’s quite a character, and very different from anyone I’ve ever written before.  I’m excited for her to come into the story. 

Now it’s time for revisions.  Fortunately, I love those.