Friday Write-Day: Digging into the Third Draft

Man, I have loved creating my third draft so far. It’s like watching the final pieces of a puzzle fit into place. The further along I get, the more amped up I am to share The Warden of Everfeld: Memento with you all!

This has been a solid week. I finished with just under my revision goal of 20,000 words (about 19,930), and it took me approximately 5.5 hours of work.

I managed to do that after a weekend of travel as well, so having a couple of free weekends in February will be a huge help.

With about 32,000 words completed in my revision so far, I’m still within range of my 7-hour per week timeline to finish Manuscript: Charlie by the end of February.

I’ve been tracking the word count for each section as I move as well. With four chapters revised, my word count has increased by about 200 words overall. My editor also thinks I should add a couple of sections. I don’t disagree with her, but I’d still like to trim the total count a bit.

Luckily, she has no qualms about slashing big red lines through sections of unnecessary narrative. And I don’t mind one bit.

Altering Characters

Some of the earliest revisions and comments my editor has made have been about the development of one of my protagonists: Jaed.

My editor got the impression that some of Jaed’s decisions/behavior were out of character in specific spots, and she wondered in her comments whether the character was fully fleshed out.

Compared to Aston, Jaed felt like a work in progress. I fully accept and agree with this analysis. Aston has lived as a POV character in my head for five years. His personality has had time to germinate, and I’ve written and re-written many of his sections multiple times over.

Jaed developed much more recently into a primary POV character, sometime between my alpha and beta drafts, when I decided that her arc was just as central to the story as Aston’s — if not more so.

But that means I’ve had less time to develop her, to justify her behavior and reactions, and to realize her role in this story. She’s resolved and singularly focused, but also caring and protective. She’s not a warrior or a soldier or a hunter, but she’s no coward. She does what she must to protect those she loves.

That was how I wanted her to come off. I was worried that a major overhaul would be necessary to achieve that.

After going through revisions on two of Jaed’s chapters so far, I think the framework is there for Jaed. I just need to fine-tune some of her scenes a bit. I’m confident that my editor understands my intentions for the character. I think I know who Jaed is, I just need to let her be… her.

Writing Goals for 1/26
  1. Revise 24,000 words in WoEM
  2. Still nail down a marketing timeline
  3. I woke up early a couple times this week, so that’s good. I’d still like to make that every day.

Steve D

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