I’m back at work on Book 3 of the DUAL MAGICS series (currently titled BEYOND THE PROPHECY, but nothing’s set in stone). But I’m not fully back in first draft mode.
I’ve decided that’s part of my problem in really getting this one rolling. After all, I know the characters and the world. I laid down a rough outline of at least the high points of what’s going to happen. So what’s holding me back from making better progress?
Answer, I haven’t yet managed to disengage my editor brain. Writing (a first draft) and revising an existing draft are two very different things, calling not just for different skills, but a whole different mind set. Editor brain worries about what should be shown better and what should be cut, not about telling the story in the first place. Editor brain worries about whether that was precisely the right word.
I realized this yesterday when I wrote a new scene, and immediately thought that I should delete it. Well, there’s a good chance that it will be deleted and the information in it worked in with just a few sentences. It doesn’t really merit two pages. But that’s a decision for the second or third draft, not the first. The first draft only goes forward.
First drafts aren’t supposed to be good writing. Their purpose is to get the story out in the open so it can be revised into good writing. And I’ve been revising for quite a while, now. Both THE SHAMAN’S CURSE and THE IGNORED PROPHECY had already been written before.
(Not well, but that’s what revision is for.) The plot lines didn’t really change as I reworked them, just tightened up.
And before that, I revised and polished DAUGHTER OF THE DISGRACED KING, which I’m currently querying. It made the top 25 in the Pitch Plus 5 contest. You can see the pitch and first chapter (which just happens to be about five pages long) here. It’s been a while since I was in first draft mode.
It may take a few more days to switch over to the correct frame of mind, but it will happen. And then this draft will start to really move.