Sunday, October 7, 2018

Spiraling In

This week may have been unseasonably hot, but at least it’s been drying out. And while I’ve been terribly busy with work around the house, I did get a bit of good work done on my next book. Combining the first two chapters into one, for one thing.

To back up, on an earlier draft I’d added a lot of background to chapter 1 of Slowpocalypse Book 5, since it’s a new setting with new characters. Which made that first chapter far too long. So I broke it up into two – the first focusing on establishing the character of Duncan and explaining the community’s circumstances, the second on the start of the homicide investigation. But working on the final draft, I realized I’d bogged down the beginning of the story.

So the previous week I’d been paring down a lot of the background in the first chapter (and seeing how much I could move to later scenes.) Making it a lot shorter. This week I worked on merging the first two chapters back into one, and once again it’s fairly long. But so much better.

That may sound like I’ve been going around in circles, but it was a vital part of the process. While the first chapter now hits the same story beats as before, the writing is tighter and leaner. The characterization more deft and effective. And the book moves more quickly into the meat of the story. A lot of time and effort to get to a similar structure to what I had before, but vastly improving everything along the way. Spiraling in on the best version of the book.

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