I’m a discovery writer. I know, I said that before.
One of the things that means is that I don’t always see the shape of a story when I start. In the case of BEYOND THE PROPHECY, which is the third book in a four-book series, I knew most of the events that would take place. I knew the theme. I knew the main conflicts. But I didn’t have a real feel for the shape of the story–the way those conflicts would fit together to bring the story from its starting point, through the climax, and on to some form of resolution.
I’m kind of a stickler for some kind of resolution to each book. That’s partly because as a reader I hate to be left hanging in the middle of a long story for months or a year for the next part–which often still doesn’t resolve anything. So I always try to structure my stories to reach some intermediate resolution in each book. I want each book to feel like a complete story in itself, as well as part of the larger story of the series.
Now, as I’m writing the beginning of that climax, I have a really good feel for that shape.
The downside of being a discovery writer is, as always, that the story needs more revision than a plotter’s might. All those things I figured out along the way are going to need to be set up in the earlier parts of the book. And they’re not set up in the first draft because I didn’t know about them when I wrote the first chapters.
That’s okay, because I actually don’t mind revising. Good thing. Even if I’d been keeping count (which I don’t), I’d be embarrassed to say how many revisions THE VOICE OF PROPHECY had to go through.
Certainly a record, even for me.