So, ha-ha, funny story. Ha, oh boy. Remember… hahah, remember how I finished the draft of Book 2 and it was like, Woaaa, draft done in record time! Hooray!
I may have been jumping the gun a tiny bit on that.
Not that I was displeased with how Book 2 worked out. It followed my previously written draft precisely. Each element fell into place without hesitation. Wait, no, that might be a bit of a lie. Each piece was gently forced into place with a mallet. I was writing to get to the end of it and, as I learned somewhere along the line with book 1, that is not way to write a strong piece of literature. I’m not suggesting you have to love it every step of the way, but I think there is something to be said for understanding that what you write has value, even if it isn’t immediately apparent.
In this case, I couldn’t see the value, and believe me, I tried. I loved the ending. It was strong, full of action leading into the next book. Maybe, just maybe, a bit to much action.
And then I deleted 75,000 words and was like, “Yeah, I should probably rewrite that.”
The problem was that somewhere between finishing the draft and deleting 75,000 words, I wondered what would happen if…
If… Jim’s family were involved more heavily in the plot.
If… I cut the traitor of Lena Barnett
If… I didn’t send them all the way to Russia, but kept them closer to home.
If… Pete were my secondary antagonist.
If, if, if… damn you earworms, making me think about things. But there you have it. The seeds were planted, and I couldn’t very well ignore them. And in many ways I’m glad it happened so quickly. If I had been attempting to rewrite Book 2 over and over again, knowing that deep down I was never satisfied with the outcome, I would end up wasting a lot of precious time on trying to fit a square peg up my nose (which is a roundish hole, I suppose.)
Still, 75k is a lot to lose, even if I have saved it elsewhere just in case I change my mind. But I won’t. Because Jim’s family is now involved, and Pete is back and there is no more traitor named Lena Barnett, and somehow, in erasing and creating new threads I can see how the whole woven story has pulled closer together to keep out the breeze.
75k is a small price to pay for a stronger story.
(Header By sarefo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=716296)