Gray Haze Update #12 — New Plan

I won’t have a word count for you this week (or perhaps not for another month or so) because I have scrapped my first draft and am addressing some necessary issues before I tackle the second draft.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may be aware that depression hit me hard these past few weeks, and it has been affecting my writing. However, it is not the sole reason I have chosen not to complete my first draft. I spoke with my family and my editor, and we came to a consensus that I might restore my excitement in this project if I take a break and start again.

I fought hard against the idea, but the more I contemplated it, the more appealing it sounded. I’ve burned myself out writing every day (clearly), but most importantly the route I am going to take with the second draft is becoming more and more vivid as I pick apart everything wrong with the first. It doesn’t matter that I won’t finish the first draft, as that would end up being a waste of time. The sooner I can finish a draft that is worth fixing, the better. I am confident that this second round will be a staggering improvement. I am starting to feel excited about it again.

I canceled the Read Tests on BookBoro and deleted the entire project from the site. When I am finished with the second draft, I will seek beta readers instead, as that should be a more reliable method of obtaining feedback.

Rest assured that with every plan I set forth, I have at least three backup plans, so abandoning my previous draft is not the end of Gray Haze. No, it is only the beginning. 😉

Here is my [NEW] plan:

  • Write summaries of each character’s life leading up to the beginning of the story (three down, thirteen to go); this is an important step because I am changing a lot about each character in order to make them more dynamic and interesting. For example, I am going to enhance their flaws and give them things to do in the beginning that will make this story more character-driven, and less plot-driven (which is what I’d prefer as a reader).
  • Write descriptions of the four main settings in the story. This will help me fully develop pictures in my mind before I even start, so when it comes to describing the places in the story itself, I will be able to write the descriptions with ease.
  • Fully articulate every aspect of the magic system. I already have the history down; now I just need to write all the rules (almost finished).
  • Build the other worlds with as much detail as I can come up with. I have 11 documents in my “Amal’en” file. So far, I have completed one of those documents — the calendar — which wasn’t easy.
  • Write what happens on Earth between the years 2020-2031. Spoiler alert: the story begins in 2031, so I need to articulate why things are the way they are so I can easily integrate the technology and politics my characters know and use into the story.
  • Describe the hierarchy, history, and geography of Volenin (another world).
  • Describe the hierarchy, history, and significance of Amalta (yet another world in my story).
  • Describe the Halo (oops, another one). Fortunately, I don’t need as much detail for the latter three as I do for Amal’en.
  • Describe the two fictional languages used in the story and organize the list of vocabulary I have hitherto created.
  • List relevant facts about each supernatural creature used in Gray Haze so I can easily keep track of them as I write. (There are 21.)
  • Finish the map of Vusán (this is a big city, and it is a work in progress that will likely take forever).

Finally, once I have all this background information completed and organized on Scrivener, I will be ready to outline the second draft. All of this will probably take me two months, so I am hoping to begin writing Gray Haze again in May. I will continue to post updates on this blog every two weeks.

Your Thoughts?

Have you ever given up on a draft and started again? Where are you currently in your wip? What are you writing? Comment below. 🙂

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