I find it funny that my first post of 2017 is going to be about entirely scarping most of the work I did on Book 3 in 2016.
Every time I plan a novel, I always start off with a little one page brief ‘overview’ (or mock synopsis) that is supposed to keep me in check while writing the far larger plan.
However, every SINGLE time I plan a novel, I deviate away from that overview…and…every single time I’ve ended up going back and rewriting the novel according to the original overview.
EVERY SINGLE TIME.
Once again, it’s happened.
I was sitting in my cafe, staring at my the plan for Book 3 in utter despair. Something was wrong. It was not right. I’d finally reached the catharsis, everything should have been jelling perfectly but it was an honest mess. So I went back to my overview…and…oh…THAT’S where I went wrong. A single shift in theme sent the whole novel out of whack.
Book 3 is about trust — and betrayal.
I believe the line I wrote in the overview is “Trust evermore in the bonds of family and friends, especially in the midst of betrayal.”
I suppose the idea being, how do you find yourself trusting anyone when you have been betrayed?
I allowed myself to move away from that theme and it distorted the plot. This is really irritating me right now, considering it’s the third time I’ve done it. You’d think I’d learn not to stray away from my original concepts.
If you’ve read Protectors: Book 2, there is a scene within it that I had originally taken out entirely — a scene in which Skyeola manages to communicate long-distance with Daniel, bringing everyone closer together. It’s a really lovely scene, I won’t spoil it anymore than I already have.
My point though, is that in my original plan of Book 2 that scene existed — so did a lot of other scenes that I cut — and when I handed my final draft version to my editor…what did she do?
Without even knowing my original plan, she ended up making me put most of those scenes back into my novel. That’s how good my editor is.
The final draft of Book 2 that I handed to my editor, and the printed Book 2 you hold in your hands and read is actually more akin to the plan I wrote than my final draft. So…weird…
What I am currently struggling with is having written almost 100,000 words of plan and discovering I’m going to have to go back and rewrite a lot of it. It hasn’t all been wasted though, I suppose, I have learnt a lot about the story and its direction, and the new characters that are introduced (despite having known them for years now).
I many ways, my plans are so detailed they are almost a first draft.
I have four storylines converging into a single book, and while readers have heard about the House of Flames, establishing it quickly as an existing place is proving actually quite difficult.
I keep getting told that I can’t make this book any bigger. Don’t make it big. Cut it down. Cut it down. I freak out so much about word count that it strangles my creativity.
However, it is puzzles like this that keep writing very interesting. I find myself sitting at my cafe, gazing out the window, watching the heat blistering the pavement, and pondering just how I can solve such a predicament as to the one I managed to get my characters all tangled into.