Saturday, December 15, 2012

On Writing and Panicking about Writing. Or Deadlines. Or Something.

Hiiii, all! Happy December! Er, mid-December. I've been busy with all sorts of family and holiday things. On the writing front...well, I'm still working on Rising Book 2.

I had expected to be able to publish Rising Book 2 at the end of this year, but it's going to be sometime next year before it's out, and I apologize to anyone waiting to read it. I had the whole draft written--you may remember me saying I had finished it at 185,000 words or so. Rising Book 2 is divided into two parts, and part one had already had tons of work and rewriting. Part 2 had been written very fast and was messy by comparison.

Well, not long after that, my beta readers made suggestions, and this is what happened:

-I cut 60,000 words in one day.

-I realized the second half of the book needed to be rewritten. Figured out what chapters from part 2 I could salvage. Kept them in. Cut another 45,000 words or so.

-Set cut chapters aside, because I know there will be a few scenes I'll be able to use.

-Tried to sort out the brand new plot, because this part of my rewrite needed brand new plot.

-Panicked. Thought about deadlines and panicked more.

-Kept writing. Words all became a jumbled mess.

-Panicked some more.

-Wondered if anything in part 2 was working, or if I needed to scrap all of it and start from scratch.

-Reminded myself that at least part 1 was ready to go--completely edited, rewritten, tweaked, through betas and editors, and that rewriting just part 2 wasn't really as bad as I was making it out be.

-Brain was exhausted. Was more stressed about about this half of a novel than I've been about any book in a long time.

-Words looked even more of a jumbled mess. Panicked and got a hold of writing partner Emma one afternoon. I walked her through my rewrite on part 2, and she talked me through points of the plot and helped me realize it does make sense, I didn't need to scrap and start over, and I just needed to keep going, and she helped me see clearly how to keep going.

-Breathed, wrote, emailed Emma my story file. (Emma and I read each other's in-progress books, which helps us both immensely. It helps us keep each other encouraged, and it helps that we both end up knowing each other's plots.)

-Emma read and loved it and I was super, super encouraged and non-panicked.

-I'm still writing.

And that has been my writing process lately. I will admit that I'm still a little stressed because I'm like !!!!DEADLINE!!! and flailing in my head like a maniac, because I do want to get this out soon, because I have other stories in the works and my agent is shopping around one of my other novels, but, as one of my other friends keeps reminding me, I want to put out my absolute best, and I want to make sure the story is what it needs to be. I owe it to myself, I owe it to the characters, and I owe it to my readers. The first draft of the story had all the plot points in there, but it wasn't what it needed to be, and I wasn't happy with it. Therefore, I'm going to keep taking it one page at a time, figure out how the new plot weaves together, and then when it's finished, I'll whip it into shape and put part 2 through beta readers and editing, and then I will get the book out there. I don't have many more chapters to write, so hopefully it won't be delayed that much, but I know the book will be better off for the rewrite.

At least part 1 of the novel is ready, right? O_o (I tell you, this book has taken more out of me than any book I've ever written in my life. It's exhausting.)

Anyway, thanks to all of you for your patience! It's soooo close to being 100% done, it's ridiculous. I'll just be over here in my corner, working on this and reminding myself to breathe and not panic.

I hope all of you are doing wonderfully, especially during this super busy time of year!!!