I can, with frabjous joy, state that I’ve got the alpha draft done. There are actual chapter numbers; that’s how I know. I am presently scribbling out the remaining connective pieces at ludicrous speed (very nearly plaid), in the hopes of getting out the beta draft by the end of October. If I stay on schedule, I’ll have notes back in time to do final edits and get the book done and published by the end of the year, as promised.
The particular problem I had, which became clear around June, was that most of the plotline I had originally planned for The Dragon didn’t fit with the main story – that I had too many other, more important things to flesh out – so I basically had to start over. I “fired” a narrator – completely trashed my plans for her, and gave Mac’s arc a total overhaul. Most of what I wrote between July 2013 and June 2014 will never get printed. Which was pretty damn disheartening. Ultimately, though, I’ve come to accept it as part of my process. I didn’t know I had a process, since I’ve only done one of these – but a pattern is starting to emerge. Most of the first year’s work on The Thief is not in the finished product. (Jul’s first trip into the mirror is probably all that stayed intact.)
Apparently the way I work is, I jot down a rough outline. Then, I write a bunch of out-of-chronology bits that sound like fun, and keep doing that until I have a pile of them. I take those, and arrange them in an order that kind of makes sense, but only to me. This is the alpha draft. This is what ends up getting mostly rewritten, as I plow back through it all and turn it into one contiguous piece of mostly-awesome. Then I get a handful of people to tell me what bits aren’t working. I fix those, make it full-awesome, and that becomes what you get to read and freak out over.
Because you’re going to freak out. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you now.
Though I removed an entire narrator, you won’t notice, because it doesn’t affect anything you’ve already read. Instead, you might be happy to hear, you get a lot more from the characters you already know. Camille, Mac, and Tailor predominate, but you’re also going to get to know Meredith whether you want to or not. Oh, and Rhys is on the list. (Whoa, calm down there.) Havenwood still has a lot of secrets, and like an onion – or an ogre – there are layers. It’s only book 2, people. The insanity has only just begun.
Lastly and mostly, I want to say thank you for all your encouragement. Writing a second book has been a lot harder than I anticipated – almost as hard as the first. It’s meant a lot that this time around I’ve had people asking after it, knowing specific characters and really, genuinely, being fans. I’ve never had fans before, and I’m immensely grateful. You help make my dreams come true, just by knowing these characters exist.
Alright, that’s enough procrastinating. Back to busted mirrors and amnesiac immortals that bleed magma.