Writing the Dreaded Second Draft

There she was. A new story. A bare bones first draft of 47,000 words staring at me. I had a great time writing her. I flew through the story in thirty days last year and added a few more lines over the past week.
But now it was time to face the music.

The dreaded second draft.

I still haven't mastered revising a first draft. The Two Worlds was a nightmare because it was written over a long period of time and I learned so much while writing it. I used different techniques of writing, wrote different parts at various points in my life (and that always influences my writing) and wasn't organized at all. No outline, no clear vision, nada. Just a girl and her notepad.

This time around, I wrote with a clear focus. NaNoWriMo allowed me a clear deadline and I had an outline to work off of. Being organized allowed me to have fun with writing instead of stopping every few chapters to figure out my next move. I'm definitely NOT a pantser!

But I still have so much to learn about the writing process. And I find myself hesitant on how to approach this latest WIP.  I'm going to wait a few days and try to find a good book that touches on the subject (suggestions welcome!). Have you ever struggled with revising a raw draft?

What on Earth Happened to The Two Worlds Sequel?

Character fatigue. Plain and simple. I began writing The Two Worlds seven years ago, when my brother was eleven years old and totally interested in the wizarding world. The Harry Potter series was super popular and I wanted to write a book for him--so I did. Over the course of the seven years, I would email chapters to him and he loved it. The Two Worlds was definitely a labor of love and I used it as an entry way into the world of indie publishing and marketing.

It was on my schedule for three more sequels but I've fallen out of love with the characters. I still care about them, but not enough to write their stories right now. I found myself wanting something fresh after seven years of the same tale. It was why writing my current paranormal mystery was so fun.

That being said, when I write my next business plan I'm strongly considering leaving The Two Worlds series out of the production schedule. I might come back to it in 2016 as I have big plans for Kay and friends, but right now I want to focus on different things and I'm really excited to start a new journey with a new character. Stay tuned for more updates on my new book!

2014: Year in Review

My last post was quite awhile ago and I was writing about needing a business plan. I was right on target for following that business plan when BAM! things changed. You know the saying: Life happens while you're busy making plans.

In March, I was pulled in to be a project manager on an important proposal at my day job. That lasted for an entire month, and just when I was able to breathe again, BAM! I found out I was pregnant. That sent my husband and me into a tailspin and by the time I had wrapped my head around creating a new human being, I was dragged into another project as project manager and dealing with HORRIBLE first trimester symptoms.

The intensity of the first trimester plus the project left me with little room for having any kind of personal or writing life. And when the work project wrapped up mid second trimester, I was placed on bed rest for a pregnancy induced herniated disc. Once I came back from that, I finished up my role with the current project and that brings us up to mid August.

The rest of August, September and October where spent taking a breather. I was tired--mentally and physically. Not to mention, I had neglected my personal life and hadn't began doing anything baby related. Who knew being pregnant was such hard work? I took a much needed break to refocus. And I decided late October to do NaNoWriMo to get my creative juices flowing again.

The problem? November 1st came and went and I wasn't motivated to start the sequel to The Two Worlds. I actually felt bad about it and began to panic--what if I was losing my writing mojo? What was wrong with me? I scoured my writing vault (where all unfinished works live) and found a paranormal mystery I had written last year for NaNoWriMo and never touched again. So I brushed off the dust, added a few more thousand words and now I have a first draft of a story that I'm really excited about.

For the rest of the year, I will be finishing up prepping for the new kid and wrapping up things at the day job. I usually write a plan for the upcoming year, but since I have no idea what life is going to be like with a baby, I'm forcing myself to take it bit by bit until we get into a routine. Ideally, I would like to have a second draft of the paranormal mystery done by April 2015. And I'm currently working on that right now.

All in all, life happened. Lots of surprises, good and not so good, and lots of adjusting my schedule and my mentality. The most important lesson I learned in 2014 is that you can only take things day by day and you have to be flexible--especially as an indie author. I have to admit: I can't wait to see what 2015 brings!