• Alyssa Rogan

Writing Update: Draft Two Blitz

Hello. It's been a while since I've updated you on my writing. Actually, a long while. October was the last time I went somewhat in-depth about it. Allow me to catch you up.

I wrote the outline for draft two

As I mentioned in October's post, I wrote draft one and followed it up with an outline. Knowing that I was going to need to rewrite about 80% of this book, I went ahead and wrote the outline for draft two. Otherwise, I might have plunged myself into another ten months of drafting aimlessly.

I'm so glad I did because the outline took me three months to write. Why did it take so long? you might be asking. Well, I don't know. In addition to my everyday responsibilities, this is just a complicated book. It's juggling a lot. Four points-of-view, local news, world events, and sufficiently juicy horror stuff that actually makes sense.

The ending was the hardest part. I've ruminated on that the most. I've always known how I wanted to end, but not the logistics of it. It needed to make sense. I think I've pulled it off, but I'll find out by the time I'm actually drafting whether or not I have.

I don't know if I've quite nailed the omniscient narration.

Writing in omniscient third person is really cool. I feel so powerful. But at the same time, I can't tell if I'm doing a good job. I suppose I don't really know the "rules" of this narration style and worry that it may come across as a head-hoppy third-person limited perspective. I don't want readers to feel disoriented.

I lack confidence in the prose itself

It's so weird not telling a story in first person. It comes naturally for me to assume the voice of someone else, but with omniscient third, it's like... is this my own voice telling the story? Am I inventing some other voice to tell this story? How biased am I toward these characters? Do I have to come across as objective? Do I want the narration to blend in, or do I want to be snarky?

There's one character I straight-up don't like

Hate would be a strong word. As I mentioned in December, she just wasn't working. I've figured out what her role was supposed to be, but I can't say I'm endeared to her. I figured this out on Friday night as I wrote a scene from her point of view. I felt bored. I was ready to get back to the others.

I think her personality and voice need developing. She needs as much nuance and attention as the characters I've gravitated toward since the beginning.

I'm gonna finish the second draft by June 1st

I decided just the other day. I really, really wanna speed this up so I can dive into draft three and eventually beta reader rounds in time to query agents by late July or early August at the latest. It's a quick turnaround time, I know. I won't beat myself up if I don't make the deadline, but I'm hoping it'll at least motivate me to write faster.

I picked June first because I starting writing draft two around March 1st. That's about ninety days. If I write a thousand words a day, that puts me at my target word count of ninety thousand. This does not include the material from the first draft that is staying in the second draft. In fact, most of the first five thousand words, for example, have stayed the same, so I don't even need ninety thousand words... unless the draft runs over that. Fingers crossed I'll have some self-restraint.

So far, I have a little over thirteen-thousand words, so I'm a few days ahead of schedule.

I write better in the afternoon

I have work in the morning so I end up writing in the afternoon anyway, but even on the weekends, I've found myself waiting until at least the middle of the afternoon. I'll take a break to walk my dog, exercise, and eat dinner. After that, it's back to the grind. I usually wrap up around nine or nine-thirty.

Check back in a few months to see how I'm doing. Wish me luck!

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