It’s the first Wednesday of June. JUNE! We have this month and the year will be half over.
What makes me an insecure writer today? The same thing that’s been plaguing me for flippin’ years! Book 2. Or should I say Book 2, divided by 2?
Critique partners are amazing. I love them. I have become a much better writer because of them. And sometimes, their comments trigger a landslide.
After reading the first set of Book 2 chapters, a trusted CP mentioned “lots of plot”. My knee-jerk reaction was to go into all my justifications for the events contained within the pages. But the reasonable writer within me took a step back to examine the information.
The problem is this guy to the left. His subplot doesn’t relate to the main plot. Like, at all. The events are necessary for future books, but they have nothing to do with fighting the monsters. That has to be bad for the reader experience, right?
As I melted down into panic mode, I scrambled to figure out what to do. Do I ignore the problem and just finish my rewrites? I wouldn’t be truly happy with it because I would know the problem exists. But I have no way to relate the events of this subplot to the monsters.
The solution I landed with is to revive the subplot I decided to cut in March 2020. The problem I was addressing then was how the first half and second half of the character’s story didn’t relate, so I trashed the first half and expanded the second half because the latter had characters that are necessary for future books. Seemed logical at the time. But the first half is better suited to relate to the main plot.
What about the subplot I’m cutting? Because those characters and events are still necessary, I’m going to have to put them somewhere. That means I’m adding another book.
My 5 book series has expanded to 6 books, and I’m going to have to stop thinking about book 3 as book 3. I also have to move book covers around and think up another made-up word to fall in with the other titles. Everything is a mess.
I’m resigned to do the work, and I was at least smart enough to keep previous completed versions of my book around.
IWSG Question of the Month – For how long do you shelve your first draft, before reading it and re-drafting? Is this dependent on your writing experience and the number of stories/books under your belt?
Given my experience with Book 2, I’d say I don’t shelve it at all. I start re-drafting almost as soon as I recognize the problems.
Have you ever read a book where one of the subplots didn’t relate to the main plot? How was your experience with that? Have you ever split a book in two?