Work In Progress Wednesday


First, let me ask: Who’s REALLY ready for Christmas? Cause it’s FAST approaching! Anybody out there who still needs to go shopping? If so, may God bless you.

Second, it’s Deb’s turn to give her social media confessions for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Blog! Check out her response, then come back here. (Or finish reading this post and check out Deb’s. Either way. It’s up to you. I won’t get mad. I pwwomiss.)

Okay, back to writing.

So, back in late October, I had the shocking realization (thanks to my writerly buds and crit partners) that I had to MAJORLY restructure my YA Dystopian—like to the point of needing a clean slate.

With a bunch of support to give me momentum (and confidence), I brainstormed a new plot, using the Three Act structure for my outline (my first “for realz” outline, by the way!). As a result, the same characters and the same world went from “nice story” to “epic.” My main character discovered what made him unique. My antagonist found his reason to help my main character. And because of this, my main character realized why he needed to help the antagonist—namely, to get what he wants while still being able to save the world. (Whether or not he survives or he actually gets what he wants is still to be determined. Just sayin’.)

Initially, I was able to rework some original scenes (in a radically different order, LOL!) and that helped me get to the halfway point within a couple weeks. Then I hit the slogs of “mid-point of the novel-land.” I hesitated, unsure of my up-til-that-point trusty outline. As a panster, the emotions and dialogue I plopped down to stick to the outline felt…contrived (gasp!). It totally slowed me down.

BUT, I marched on. Whether it was 500 words or a 1000, I tried to write every day, with the provision that if I just didn’t have it in me then I wouldn’t berate myself.

I typed THE END on Sunday! Woot!

A long road, but totally worth it.

Why?

Because now I have a REAL story. A structured plot. Stakes that matter. And characters whose stories are intertwined to the point where protagonist and antagonist have both positive and negative attributes that draw them together to an inevitable climax.

Man, I love it when that happens!

Dear friends, what’s it like for you when you face major revisions? How do you handle it?

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10 comments on “Work In Progress Wednesday

  1. Wahoo! I hope you’re talking about Sharps Blood. And if so, sign me ip as a beta reader. 🙂

  2. Ciara Knight says:

    Woot!! Congrats on typing THE END. What a great feeling. I’m hoping to do the same by the end of the month. Yes, I know that’s only in a few days, but I can dream. 🙂
    I LOVE YA Dystopian. I’m sort of working on one now. Don’t ask. LOL I CAN’T wait to read it. SERIOUSLY!! My fave genre.

    Good luck with subs!

  3. vtremp says:

    Woo-hoo! Congrats on finishing the draft! Now the hard part begins – tee hee.

    It’s funny to read about your issues with an outline – I’m totally an outliner. I don’t stay glued to it, if a scene or chapter goes where I didn’t expect, that’s okay. But I like starting to write a scene knowing what I meant to happen.

    I’m working on major revisions, too. I like to use the Maass How to write the breakout novel workbook. It gets me thinking about my plot and characters in a different way and helps me wring every bit of tension I possibly can from my ms.

    (Love your snow!)
    Vicki

  4. lbdiamond says:

    Natasha–yes, this is Sharp’s Blood, which was renamed Talent’s Blood (and I’m trying a different title too, but am not sold on it yet).

    Ciara–thanks! I AM excited! Now, to send it off to crit partners. I’m hoping this is THE novel to get me closer to finding a lit agent. *fingers crossed*

    Vicki–thanks! I’m pretty much a converter to outlining. Pansting leaves me with characters without a plot, LOL!

  5. Oh, how exciting! I want an epic toooo!!! My WIP isn’t even quite in the “nice story” phase yet. Blah! Still have some discovery to do.

    I’m on my way out to grocery shop, but that’s it unless I completely forgot something. :p

  6. I’m done shopping, thank goodness.

    Hurray for finishing Talent’s Blood!!!

  7. Lynn Rush says:

    Yay for typing THE END. That’s freaking awesome!!! I’m not ready for Christmas, per se.

    The reason to celebrate Christmas, yes. Always ready for that. As for the people coming to visit part. . . yeah, not so much.

    Got my shopping done today, so now I’m off to wrap!!!

  8. lexcade says:

    yeah, laura!!!!!!!! i knew you could do it!

    i remember when i figured out i had the wrong antagonist. i was lying in bed at my dorm, and it was like a EUREKA moment. “omg, Lorenzo’s not the bad guy, JAMES IS!” and thus began years of major revisions, restructuring, and creativity-ing…?… changing the antagonist changed the entire trajectory of the story, and made it necessary to plan for 3 books instead of one.

    i freaked out at first because DANG that was a lot of work, but once i buckled down and thought about everything, it all started falling together. i didn’t make outlines, but i made brief synopses (like 3 paragraphs) of the last 2 books, i’ve written most of a synopsis for the 2nd book, plotted characters, and created this whole web of interconnection with the main character and a lot of the supporting cast. a lot of lies, a lot more deception, and a much stronger story as a whole. that was the first time planning and outline was actually kinda fun.

  9. Lydia K says:

    Revisions drive me crazy but they have taught me way more than doing the first draft in my other WIPs. Every revision, there has been a light going off in my head that’s turned me into a better storyteller.

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