The sequel to my first novel is coming along nicely. The second installment of The Dia Chronicles will be, The Embers of Light. I mentioned a while back that I’d written 10 chapters and decided to scrap them. While that wasn’t an easy decision to make, I’m glad I did because this new version is so much better!
As I write this first draft I am so much more aware of my writing process. In the first round of writing, I don’t much care to concentrate on word count. My main focus is the WHO, WHAT and WHEN. While I do have a rough plan, I find that I don’t stick to it. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to what the characters want to do.
Some writers write a long first draft and then cut in the rewrites. I choose to take a different approach. My first draft will probably be somewhere around 60,000 words — much shorter than it needs to be. But at that point, at least I’ll know the order of the plot and the action.
In the 2nd draft I will focus on the WHY, smooth out details and layer in more description and character thought. Many fantasy novels are well over 100,000 words. But I am not creating an entirely different world, so I don’t feel like my novels need to be that long. By layering the 2nd draft, my word count goal is 100,000 words. When I get there, that’s when I know I’m in a good position to CUT — that’s right, I said cut. 🙂
In the 3rd draft I will continue to smooth out details, but this time I will cut as much unnecessary detail as possible. I am known to write in too much exposition, so that always needs to be examined first. Then I look for the overused words that I can chop as I go. By the time the 3rd draft is done, I hope to be sitting at about 90,000-ish words.
I wrote six drafts of The Darkness of Light — SIX! I really don’t want to do that this time. The more you write, the more you know about yourself and your writing process. Hopefully I stick to the plan this time.