• Alyssa Rogan

Book Two Update & Thoughts on Book Three


Last you heard, I was neck-deep in edits for the second draft of my second, Contemporary YA novel. Here's a brief update of my writing life.

Earlier this week, I finished the second draft. If you read my post about my revision process, a line edit followed my giant list of revisions. A line edit refers to reading the manuscript on a sentence level and making sure the prose is strong, the voice is consistent, and the pace is tight. Overall, line editing is all about the flow.

With this line edit came a few minor adjustments to scenes that I'd changed my mind about. They were more character-based than plot-based, which was easy enough.

The next item on my list is beta readers. Beta readers are people from your target audience who read the book. Their job is not that of an editor--rather, their role is to react to your manuscript and tell you what worked and what didn't. They generally give big picture comments about character and plot. So far, I've lined up three or four people to read it.

This also happens to be my least favorite stage of the writing process. There's always the chance that what I've written doesn't ring true. Doesn't resonate. Doesn't evoke anything in the reader. Worse, there's the chance that what I've written will embarrass me. And I don't take embarrassment well.

I thought about jumping right to the querying stage, but I think I might hold off until I get feedback from betas, just in case it's actually a flaming dumpster fire. I'd also like to query agents with the confidence that people in my target audience actually think it's good.

Book Three?!

Yes. Well... kinda. No. Not yet. I don't know.

There's this story that's been ruminating in my mind for over a year. I've done a loose outline, jotted some notes down about characters, nailed the setting, and created a decent-sized playlist on Spotify. All the pieces are falling into place.

I've hyped up this book up so much in my mind for over a year, but now I'm not sure I should write it. Why, you ask? It may be too close to real events and personal experiences.

In short, I had some crazy stuff happen in college--the kind of stuff books are made of. Drama, drama, and more drama.

But I'm hesitating because I don't want to hurt anybody--both friends and ex-friends. The best case scenario would be fictionalizing people and events to the point of them being unrecognizable, but I don't know if that's possible. The reason things played out the way they did was because of the people involved. A new cast would inevitably alter the events, but I'm not a fan of plugging characters into a plot. That doesn't feel organic to me.

So I don't know what I'm going to do yet. I'm not jumping into a project. For the first time in five years--or maybe longer--I'm not working on a book right now (which gives me more time to write blog posts!). I have shreds of ideas--a character name here, a premise there--but I don't know which of them has book-length potential, so... stay tuned!

#writing #booktwo #fiction #contemporaryya #ya #drama #writinglife

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