I’m drafting (working title) Titaness of Bone and we’re on draft 2.5 at this point while following the steps outlined in Save the Cat. If you haven’t checked it out, I definitely recommend it. It outlines a pacing that feels natural and which has improved the structure in my novel.
Honestly, my biggest struggle continues to be the last 10,000 words of the “Fun and Games” section of the story. If you have suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you think would help me firm up that last 10,000 words. What are your ideas?
My favorite parts so far have been seeing the Expertise become more of an action taker in this version. In my first writing of her, she felt like a bystander in her own story. In this newer write, she’s still somewhat unwilling to participate in the action. However, more of the events are determined by her choices.
Which has made her a much stronger personality to write.
Forgive any grammar errors, though. I haven’t done my grammar edit. And that’s next on the list.
Finished with Arc 2 of my WIP? Maybe. It’s about the same length as it was before and I really wanted it to be longer than that. I suppose that the overall work being longer is satisfying. The overall work is sitting at 57,000 words right now so that means we’ve got a ways to go. For now, here’s what I’ve done.
Sometimes you have too many side characters. This was the case with an old seer woman that the MC and group meet along the way. So, I wrote out the old woman and gave her lines to one of the other people in the group. This made things way simpler and meant that we got more time with the scenes that were important. I love the way this also gives Laima (the character who got the old woman’s lines) more personality and really affirms her religiousness. I hope she keeps developing in a good way over the course of the novel.
More Time With The BBEG
The BBEG (big bad evil gal) is very personable and, under different circumstances, might have been an ally. I really wanted to drive that idea home in this section. Although the reader met the BBEG in the beginning of the story, it wasn’t clear that she was the opposition. So, in the middle section I really wanted to explore what could have been. And build up how tragic a relationship she has with the MC.
Changes Yet To Come
It’s amazing how, even while writing, you think of things that need changed. I have a doc on the side in which I have written important things I need to change. I need to talk more about magic, and a spear, and get the character’s voices distinct. There’s a lot of work yet to go. But this is going from dirty draft, to draft one. So the main point right now is to expand things out to the proper length. Even though we’re at almost 60,000 we still gotta get closer to 80,000.
So, wish me luck and let me know how your own WIPs are going. Don’t forget to like and comment. What do you struggle with most on your drafts?
I know I posted earlier this week about my “WIP” singular buuuuut, I haven’t been entirely honest. I actually have several projects which I’m working on and here’s a summary of where I’m at for each of them.
Mag Kad (working title)
I’ve completed the dirty draft for this one which means that it’s sitting at 22,000 words and I expect to triple that. However, I realized that the story was 1. extremely trope ridden and 2. the characters were weak. So, I’ve set that one down for now and plan to come back to it sometime in July.
I don’t have a blurb for this one yet, but it’s an arcanepunk, solarpunk secondary world dystopian novel where magic users are caused by radiation and are viewed as abominations. I’m excited to flesh out this work and the characters. Right now it needs a lot of work, though.
Titaness of Bone (working title)
I’ve completed the dirty draft and dug into draft one on this one. The characters were stronger, I felt more invested in the story, and I knew where/what to change by the time I finished my dirty draft. I’ve revised draft 1 through the first story arc which means I’m sitting at 55,772 words currently and I hope to expand it out to around 90,000 (the higher end for fantasy drafts). I never imagined reaching anything of that length, but as I’m revising… things keep getting stretched out and fleshed out. So, I may end up eventually doing some trimming. Gasp.
I’ve previously posted about this one so go check out my first WIP post for the blurb and more details.
Sellsword (working title)
This one’s a fantasy romance and I actually haven’t finished my dirty draft yet. I realized I didn’t know where I wanted to go with the story. Unfortunately, since I didn’t finish the dirty draft this one may drop off. But also, I certainly am hopeful that when I come back to it in August that I’ll better see the flaws and I’ll know where I want to take that story as well.
Right now it’s sitting right at 22,000 words-ish. And this isn’t the official blurb but this is what I wrote before delving into the novel. Rinise never wanted the throne. In fact, she and her brother actively fled from their cultish family so they wouldn’t try to sneak them back into the courts. Unfortunately, some fanatics got wind of surviving royals. And well, that would ruin everything. So, to keep the current king they’ve sent out an assassin. They killed her brother, but she’s still alive for now. And she’s in Lazaro looking for a sellsword. There’s all kinds of shifty sorts here. The barkeep said the one in the corner is honorable, however, so she’s walking towards him. And his flat eyes meet hers.
Queen of R (working title)
It’s laughable, but this one’s sitting at 4,000 words. I started this gender-bent beauty and beast retelling a day or two ago. The protag, Gentry, wants to save his shop and so he’s heading to the soothsayer to see if she can tell him a way to earn the money to do that.
I’ll let you guys know when I finish the dirty draft for this one.
My Collab Works
I actually have two collaborative works going right now which I’m co-writing with two different individuals. Since I’m not the only one working on these projects, I can’t say exactly how far along in these two projects we are, or if they’ll ever reach completion in the way we envisioned. The first one, which has undergone multiple iterations, is currently on the back burner for myself and my co-writer. We’ll have to see if we come back together to salvage that one. The other work, which just underwent a major plot overhaul, is slow going as me and my co-writer are both currently very busy. But it’s moving along slowly.
My short stories
I’m going to say, I’m not very good at writing short stories at the moment. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying. The work is still a bit rough so I’ve set all four of them to rest for the moment. However, I’ve got my eye on them. I’m hoping that after a month or two I can make the required changes and send them out one more time for applications.
So, as you can see I’m a little crazy. Between these and increasing my online presence, I’m ready to pull out my hair, but I will continue to send updates every couple of weeks and I will be published, sooner or later. Thanks again for your support, I wish you all success and glory. What do you have in the works right now? Share in the comments below.
On 5/19/2020 I finished my Draft 0, my dirty draft, of a WIP (work in progress) Fantasy. The dirty draft, which was written from the 10th to the 19th was 39,549 words. Now, almost a month later I’ve added almost 7,000 words and I’m not even through the first arc of the story. In this article I will go over my process and the content of my project.
Writing the Dirty Draft
What is a dirty draft? Basically, I’ve got a story and I’ve gotta get it pounded out on the page. So, I obsessively write, about 4,000-6,000 words a day to get the bare-bones of the plot and characters out on paper. Draft 0 is so flawed that it needs a heavy re-write, but I’ve worked through my basic character arcs and I’ve taken deep notes on what needs to be changed while writing draft 0. It’s the feel good part of the project.
To set up, I do a mood-board for each of the main characters and I write out a very short explanation of what’s going to take place. Here’s an example of my character boarding below. It consists of bare bones backstory, as well as images to inspire their character. Although I didn’t in this one, I also try to include physical ticks that they’ll do while speaking so that I can fall back on those when in doubt. This bare-bones explanation gives me plenty of room to work, but also direction when working.
Once I finish the dirty draft, I try to hammer out a preliminary blurb. I run them by my Tale Foundry friends as well as my writing group (when possible) and make revisions as needed.
This is my blurb for now, but we’ll see if I do any major plot revisions that prompt a change in description. I don’t suspect it’ll be changing much, however. Not only does it feel good to make a blurb that sounds interesting, but you’ll need one later anyhow, so it’s good to get one going.
Digging Into Draft One
I am so grateful to Deseretgear who invited me to join their writing group. They’ve been a great help as I’ve written draft 1, not only to keep me moving but also to point out my reoccurring shortcomings. I wrote a .5 draft which I submitted to them, after fleshing out what I knew needed work. Once they gave me feedback, I added/removed the content that needed work.
So, now I’ve added around 7,000 words and will likely continue to do so. The average for YA fantasy is 60,000-80,000 words and by the time I complete these revisions I should be happily within that word count window.
For now, that’s all, but why don’t you comment below? What is your writing process? Do you write doing a dirty draft or do you have to dig right into the meat when you get started?