Friday Write-Day: Progressive Improvement

fwd-progressive-improvement

Writing has gone considerably better this week. Even after altering and re-altering the background of one of my main characters and changing their scenes to fit those (re)-alterations, I managed to write 6,541 words this week for a total word count of 31,388.

My goal was to reach 32,000 words, but considering I wrote much more than in the previous two weeks, I’m not too broken up. I am still upping my goal for the coming week though.

Writing Goal through 1/12: 40,000 words total, which means I have to write about 30% more in the coming week

Not traveling this weekend should be a huge boon to this goal. I also feel like I have the pieces in place to finish out this first quarter of the book, which has involved a lot of rewriting, restructuring, and adding of content. All told, it could still easily reach 50,000 words over about six chapters.

Going into this big rewrite at the beginning of December, I was focused on reworking the beginning sections of my novel, laying the groundwork for all of the themes I intended to evoke. There is obviously much more work to be done (you know, on the rest of the book), but I feel like I am building the newer, stronger foundation for my story brick by brick.

Filling Plot Holes

As I said above, my writing this week has focused on reworking one of my protagonists — Jaed. All of my alpha readers agreed (independently of each other) that she was not well-developed enough.

So I’ve added several thousand words of content introducing her, her background, and the primary conflict of the story.

I mainly did this by taking my readers’ compiled notes and questions and uncovering the plot holes in my story. Turns out, most of them stemmed from my lack of development on Jaed’s story in particular.

  1. I started with my readers’ questions or comments where there was a clear lack of understanding. What are the stakes of this conflict? Why does this information matter? Why does Jaed think this way?
  2. In order to fill those holes, I had to start from the beginning and ask myself the same questions. Why is this conflict important to Jaed? How or why does she come by this information? What happens if she fails?
  3. Then, I filled in the blanks. This involved a lot of new writing (which has been really engaging), and fitting Jaed into the conflict I created around her.

I honestly only made one major change to Jaed’s story arc concerning her background. The rest of the work came in connecting the already-existing dots to tighten up her story and give her a much more prominent role from the start of the book.

Now, I feel much more confident in moving forward, and I love this revised setup for my novel, by the way.

Steve D

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