Writing Update 8 January 2017
Ooh, my first writing update in 2017! If I hadn’t had my nose buried in edits, I might have posted one sooner. 😀
That last sentence could just about be my update. lol. It is so simple to say that I’m editing but what that really means isn’t as clear, even to other authors! So I’m not surprised when readers wonder why the editing process takes a bit more than a couple of weeks.
The Gates of Fire and Earth is my twelfth book and even though it has proven a challenge to write at times, more on that in a minute, I’m following my well-developed editing process to look for everything from plot holes, to crappy chapters, to overused words. There are so many levels of edits involved!
It all starts with a fast read through with notes on every chapter with main plot lines in the chapter and notes on unanswered questions, the overall tone, and anything that feels off or missing. Step two is to go back and fix the rough chapters and plot holes.
THAT is where I am at with the Gates of Fire and Earth.
And, of course, this book is being a little different. Why am I not surprised? When writing it and thinking of the craft of writing, I’d decided I was going to cut out one, possibly two, character’s POV (point of view for those of you who don’t spend your time cruising writing blogs as a hobby). If you’ve read the first series, the Rise of the Fifth Order, you know I use multiple character POVs.
Off the top of my head, I can say I’ve written chapters in Niri, Ria, Ty, Lavinia, Darag, Zhao, Khodan, and Sinika’s POV. Let’s not forget Behk’sah whose POV begins in Spark of Defiance! Each character has a different view of what is happening as well as tends to be the physical or emotional focus of the chapter in which they star. Juggling all those thoughts and story lines can make writing cumbersome. So I thought I’d dial it back for this book, removing two POVs (not characters, people!). That way I could focus on the main storyline, which is BIG enough. And developing all of those character stories is part of what is making this book so slow. At least that was my theory.
But when I read through the Gates of Fire and Earth the first time, that isn’t what I thought at all! The characters I’d begun to cut while writing felt absent, like a piece of the story wasn’t being told. Add to that, it felt like a huge chunk of what was going on with the Ashanti wasn’t there as well. And this series is about THEM. Aargh!
So instead of rewriting a few chapters to remove POVs, I’m rewriting two to put them back in the original character’s POV that I’d planned on cutting AND adding three more chapters to flesh out the missing piece of the Ashanti.
The good news is that I’m almost done with all that juggling and recreating. Well, two difficult chapters and then a few that need fleshing out but shouldn’t be nearly as challenging as these last two. Then I’ll be back to cleaning up rough chapters, the ones that are jumpy or need a few more lines to fill in some detail. After that, I’ll probably do a full read through again before heading for more polish, then a bit more polish, then an editor.
Somewhere in there, I’ll start to post some excerpts!
I’m hoping for sooner than later, but I’ve learned not to get too far ahead of myself with this book. But I will admit I’m prepping for the FINAL book of the trilogy, a New Goddess. I’ve started the file and created notes. I’ll need the first three chapters, after all, when I release the Gates of Fire and Earth. 😉
And, because when writing in one project gets sticky it is always best to switch to something different (rather than sit there staring at your cursor like the power of mental anguish will make it move) to work on, I’ve started outlining some new Untold Stories. I want to share those again. But I’m hoping the next excerpt on the blog is from the Gates of Fire and Earth!