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?