Monday, May 19, 2014

Book Two

Exciting rough draft of Book Two is officially done, coming in at a nice 59,000 words (up from 48k last time I had it drafted out).  Now the real work starts!  Crazy but true. Writing is rewriting and rewriting and rewriting....But, I am excited to have a complete novel to start with. Now it can sit and be shipped off to my first readers for overall feedback. I shall let is ferment like a good wine and come back to it a few weeks from now and see what I think (because like a car wreck or a bad relationship, manuscripts are best seen from a distance).

Book Two has become so dear to me, which I did not expect it to do, and here's why:

One of the best pieces of writing advice I have ever read or gotten was this:
Put your character up in a tree.
Set the tree on fire.
Get your character down.

Sounds incredibly sadistic, but in truth, conflict it what makes a story so great. Oh, you have to choose a faction and leave your family?  Your sister got picked for the Reaping and you volunteer to take her place?  Ashley is marrying Melanie Hamilton?  You get the idea...

It was never my intention to write anything beyond Book One of my story. But after I had written the very, very first draft, I was so stinkin' in love with my characters that I couldn't not continue their story. I mulled over in my head what could happen because sometimes just throwing bad events into a story is dumb, and quite frankly, cheating (I'm looking at you first season of 24...woman gets spontaneous amnesia??  Please.  That my friends, is bad writing.)

Anywho, I couldn't wrap my mind around a new conflict that I liked. But then, oh people, then....I was on my way to Kroger after work one day mulling things out loud (I get some of my best writing ideas talking out loud to myself). And I asked myself this question: Other than someone dying, what is the worst thing I can do to my main character, R. And then I said something out loud that was so right, so wonderfully horrible, that it became Book Two.

Oh people, I kill my sweet MC in book two. Not literally kill her, mind you. But I did a whole bunch of stuff to her that she would consider worse than death. Doesn't that sound just awful??

Don't hate me though. Once I thought of the conflict, it just bred conflict. I mean, bad stuff acting like rabbits and birthing more and more bad stuff.  It just wouldn't stop.

BUT, it starts off really wonderfully. Twitterpated.

Ah, this is where we start

Then.....bad happens.  But it's OK. Bad stuff teaches us things. Draws out strength in us we didn't know we had. 


At the beginning of Book Two, R is in a good place (finally, bless her dear heart). Ah, but a lifetime of brokenness is not mended so soon. She has come a long way, but is still not healed.

Her father and M do a great job with her, but some new characters show up in Book Two.

Like H. Total bad guy. (I named him after my elementary school principal who was a horrible, horrible man. Lesson here is don't be a jerk to kids or they grow up and immortalize you in fiction. Clearly mercy is not my spiritual gift). Good ole Woody gave me my bad guy image. Doesn't he just look like a creep?

Bad, bad dude
And, as so often happens, bad guys and bad things turn our beloved MC into pretty much a horrible version of herself. And surely nothing can love her, right?

Love this truth (and this look--you can buy this!)
 Ah, but this truth is woven throughout the story. Though to be honest, it does not appear in Book Two. But Book Three, ah, redemption cometh! (though glory, not the way she wants it to, cause ain't that life in a nutshell?)

Stronger than we give her credit for

 Oh hope. You sweet, blessed, tiny little fighter you. Hope is what will keep R going despite all the crap and horror I throw at her in Book Two. Because the worst thing is never the last thing...

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