Thursday, April 7, 2011

Finding Discovery in First Draft 2.0

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."
Marcel Proust

It was in February of 2009 that I hit a roadblock in my writing. I was beginning to write the second book in a series and I had 25,000 words sitting in my Word document with no place to go. The first novel was in my head since I was twelve years old and there was never any intentions of a sequel, or even a third book. I was stuck and wondering what I was thinking.

There was another story that beginning to form in mind. My first novel was based in a traditional setting of fantasy, but this one was going to explore outside that mold. I wanted to write something in a Japanese-inspired world. My husband suggested that I tackle this idea for a while. So, I set aside Sequel that Never Was and began KIN.

Life was difficult at the time I began writing it. I had some issues going on in my life and we were focusing on spending more time with Joey's grammy who just had a massive stroke earlier that November. I was hoping to write about 60,000 words and I reached that before we left for Comic Con in July 2009 with no end in sight. The story kept growing, which wasn't hard with my habit of having no real outline. It wasn't until March 2010 that I pushed myself to finish it and I hit 93,000 words.

I did my best to edit it, but the first person voice didn't work. The two parts that I wrote of the characters young and as young adults didn't work. There was some great ideas in there, but it wasn't the way I wanted it to be.

So, I wrote an outline and decided to rewrite it in third person. I began the rewrite in October 2010 and had every intention of working on it in November for Nanowrimo. I then got the call that my dad was having triple bypass surgery and all my attention was diverted to that as the holidays went into full swing.

I started writing again in February, and in my previous post, you can see the progress that I made over the month of March. I reached 70,000 words and it still had something to say. I bumped my goal up to 85,000 words and pushed myself to finish the book as soon as I could.

Last night, April 6th, I reached 87,703 words and the end of the road for the new first draft of what I now call KIN.

This draft feels much stronger and had much more potential than the first. I know it is a bit crazy to almost rewrite a whole book, but this story is something that I really want to share someday. If anything, it is something that I can say I am proud of. There is a lot of work that I will do on it (after letting it sit for the month), but it is more alive than it was before.

I am a bit lost now on what to do while waiting. I was so intent on writing on my breaks at work and home. Now I can finish books, do the last minute things before CoreCon, and finishing planning our vacation. I am ready more than ever to dust off other projects and take a look at them. It is pretty exciting.

Writing the first draft of this book has taught me many things regarding on how I should approach my writing, and in some ways, my life. Two years is a long time to dedicate to something, but it was a good time to discover more about myself. Writing is not only a discovery for the readers, but one for the writers.



  1. Ahh, this explains the whole thing now. I wasn't sure where you were at with Moonflower or Kin, and thought you were basing it on a japanese myth and doing a retelling. I still love the storyline from the outlines you've sent me, and I hope things in the future go well for you!

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  3. Congrats on finishing the first draft.

    Celebrate your achievement!

    If you miss writing while at work, maybe it's time to try out a short project - such as a short story, a poem, or maybe a script.

  4. Thanks, Chris! Joey took me out to eat the day after to celebrate. And I have three books that I can now read. Woo hoo!

    I have some short stories from my critique group I should edit. CoreCon is next weekend so I will be busy with that a tad. I have a few things in my head that I will try to jump into. Can't wait!


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