Writing Update: September 27, 2011

Officially, I’m not writing anything right now. As in, I have no new novel in the works, nor am I working page-by-page through an edit of an existing novel. A couple of weeks ago I finished a pass through one of my books and sent it out to the first of my reviewers. It’ll make it’s rounds through my circle of editors, then come back to me, and I will do at least two more polishing edits. That will probably start sometime in late October.

What I have really been working on is re-plotting part of the novel I wrote last spring called Labeled. When I was writing it, I knew there was something amiss in one of the core scenes – I took my main character out of the room during the pivotal moment in the book. That just can’t happen. Unfortunately, a large portion of the rest of the book was predicated on him not being in the room, so it’s not just a matter of sticking him back in the room and leaving the rest alone.

Two weeks ago I went through, chapter by chapter, and recorded all of the plot points in each chapter. Last week – after making a backup of the original file – I went through and plotted out changes to the novel. The point form outline for the next version is 12 pages long, which is, I believe, the most detail I’ve ever had in a plan for a book. Now, a lot of that content is notes from the original version. But still, with that kind of detail, I hope I have thought of all the changes I need to make. I’m going to let those changes percolate for a bit, and then review them with a few trusted advisors, before I start begin the rewrite.

But I can’t just sit around and not write, so instead I’m going to work on some more short fiction. Writing the new outline for Labeled reminded me that I have a sequel planned for it. But that sequel happens quite a time after the original. During that time, a lot of the minor characters will have things happen to them. This will be back story in the sequel, but will be great stories to tell in a much shorter form. This may even help me to improve the first book as I edit, since more details of the minor characters will come out. I’d like to take credit for this idea, but my writing partner Ben Newland put the thought into my head. I’ll blame him if it all goes wrong.

So anyway, things seem slow right now, but there’s a method to my madness. Hopefully that madness results in a big payoff by the end of the year.

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