Sheesh! It’s Wednesday already. Worse than that, it’s February already! As the first Wednesday of the month, that makes today Insecure Writer’s Support Group Day.
What makes me an insecure writer today? As you may or may not know, I’ve been working on Isto, the sequel to Thanmir War, for six and a half years now. So what the heck has taken me so long? I could blame the fact that my son is six and a half years old. Going from one child to two really upped my attention requirements and writing at home became a thing of the past.
But honestly, it’s not just a parenting problem.
I didn’t have a clear vision for this book when I went into it. I knew it dealt with consequences. Every problem in the second book is a consequence from the first book. There’d be a mysterious illness and people dying, there’d be a monster in the making and the loss of identity.
But a plot, that didn’t make.
I rushed into writing Isto, trusting my pantsing skills to carry me onward. I wrote 60K of exciting and wild adventure, and I was just warming up. More and more words poured from my fingers until I feared this book would be over 300K. But as I hit the soggy middle, I realized some of the things I put in just didn’t work in a multi-POV story. I whined and cried and sat down to figure out my timeline. I removed events, characters, natural disasters, and scrapped over 100K of writing.
In August of 2018, I finished my first draft at 190K. With feedback from beta readers and critique partners, I reworked chapters to remove unnecessary world-building and clear up some of the entries that hindered believability. I changed where I needed to and stuck to my guns in other places.
Then, in July of 2019, my longest standing critique partner made an innocent comment on one of my chapters, and I realized I had a pacing problem. When it was time to ramp up, I dallied into side details. Nobody told me I needed to rearrange events. The book worked as it was. But how could I call it done when I knew this problem existed?
Once again, I set out to rearrange events.
Here we are, February 2020, and I am two chapters of revision away from being done. I started out with only needing to rework two chapters. And of those two chapters, I’ve rewritten twelve of them. But this time, I’m certain I’ve only got two chapters left.
IWSG Question of the Month – Has a single photo or work of art ever inspired a story? What was it and did you finish it?
My answer: Nope. That was easy.
Are you a pantser or a plotter? Does it ever seem like when you squash one problem, another pops up? Have you ever revised something so much, that it no longer resembles the beast you started with?