I have the bulk of Wishcraft, book 2 of PTB written. I read it last week and it made me laugh out loud and cry. There is one part that will definitely require tissues.
Yesterday I made the outline so Bri could see where the story was going and help me stay on track, and did the second draft on chapter one. I really am proud of Wishcraft. If anything, it is better than The Dream Keepers, and that is saying something, because I’m happy with how TDK turned out–even if I did think it was an extra needy baby in the end. 😜
This morning I woke up at five a.m. and started on chapter two. It’s a downer and I wanted to get it out of the way. I have a busy day, but before the end of the day I should be able to do chapter three too.
How do I write a second draft?
It sounds crazy and time consuming, but I do a hardcopy of the original and on a new Google document, I rewrite it. I have a guideline of the second book but it allows me to expand or edit as I see fit. AND THIS BOOK, AS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN, IS IN THE WRONG TENSE!
Augh. So, I’m rewriting it in the correct tense.
I make new Google documents for each chapter, and then download each one as I go, in case something happens, I have it backed up. I have written chapters before that I lost, and nothing is more heartbreaking than pouring your heart out and losing it to knuckleheadedness.
How much do I write a day?
When I’m writing a new story, I write between 3k and 4k words a day. And that is how authors tend to measure their books, not in pages, but words.
On a rewrite, like I’m doing with Wishcraft, I tend to use a pace program. I have, in the past, written primarily during NaNoWriMo events and the goal is to write 50k words in 30 days. This time, I’m using Pacemaker Planner. It works basically the same way as WriMo, but I don’t get an award at the end of it. Well, I get a book. 😂🤣
I gave myself 31 days to write 65k words. 65k isn’t a long novel and by the time Bri reads it and has me expand on things and redraft, the novel will probably be closer to 80k. The outline is almost ten more chapters than the first book. It’s possible that this book will just flow and I’ll write more than my goal to start with.
Pacemaker has me set up to write roughly 2,400 words a day and half that, 1,200 words, on weekends. I like to spend time with my husband, so the lighter schedule then is a big help.
How do I edit?
I think each author has a method and most people probably finish the book and hand it off to their editor. Bri and I have a different way of doing things. I write five or, sometimes, ten chapters, and hand them off to her to edit. I asked her to read for content the first pass this time.
Content editing is when you are reading to make sure the events are continuous, make sense, and that the plot doesn’t have any holes. My book is character driven–it means that this book in particular is mainly about the characters and the plot itself is the second priority.
Because writing this trilogy allows me to stretch out the plot and it story arcs, plays out, over the three books. You get to focus on the characters. And trust me, Michaela is a hoot and you want more of her.
I will compile the chapters I write and put them together in one document for Bri. She and I edit separately or in tandem, when we can, and we talk about my choices or argue over dialogue. Michaela drops her prepositions all the time and that is purposeful. It drives Bri nuts.
How do you know the book is complete?
It’s easy when I’ve a first draft, like now, because I can read through it and make an outline.
It’s an altogether different thing when I am writing a WIP (work in progress) that is fresh. Most books have the crux or crisis happen between 60-70% of the story. Then, your resolution is the last third-ish of the book. So when I’m writing, I use word count, plot, and common sense to determine where that 60-70% is. Then I work on the resolution.
A long reaching story arc like The Power That Be series works differently than all that. The fact that I have the chance to write the story up to the end and dangle a cliffy there for readers, means that the 60-70% happens in the third book. I get to do whatever resolution I want and leave readers hanging in book one and two as long as book three provides a resolution.
Book three is a pile of poo. It’s a meandering story that needs to be wrangled, outlined, edited and then redrafted. There is gold in it but it’s far from ready, despite me knowing what happens in that book.
So, there is some ‘behind the scenes’ on writing book two and some How-To on the writing process in general. I really hope that it inspires someone to write. You don’t need to be a Stephen King or Jane Austin to write a good book. All you need to do is have some ideas, time, methodology, and you have to write.
You can do it.
Please check out the pre-order on The Dream Keepers.
Look to also see it go up on Booksprout and BookSiren in the future. And sign up for my cover reveal and book tour.