My last writing update wasn’t too long ago, but much has changed since then. I’ve been working on the second book in my duology for a couple of months now, and during this process, there was this idea chewing at my mind. I decided to lock it away because I wasn’t sure if it was possible or practical.
But then I received a rejection on one of my fulls, and then another one from one my dream agents within the same week (or two). I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed at first. Her rejection was extremely kind and even encouraged me to send her future work. But what caught my interest was one of her comments, a flaw I didn’t realize existed. Once she pointed it out, I saw and understood it. My eyes were wide open, my mind befuddled on where to go next. The only way I could fix this mistake was by doing a complete overhaul and butchering the story. I couldn’t do that, not when I’ve come this far.
I sat down with my mom and sister and discussed the issues at hand, my confusion on what do next. Then my sister reluctantly suggested the idea, the same thought that kept gnawing at me while writing book two: “Why don’t you make your second book the book? You can kind of merge them together.”
I couldn’t believe she suggested the idea I was thinking. She told me she thought about it before, because when I talk about my second book, there’s even more passion behind the story and the characters. And compared to the first book, the second has more feeling and emotion and character development and just EVERYTHING. Overall, it’s more of a solid piece compared to the first. Because now that I look back, my first book seems to be more about a different gathering of characters rather than my protagonist, as the agent pointed out. My first book would work more as a novella or a prequel, whereas the second book is the book.
So I’m no longer writing a duology, but a standalone YA speculative fiction. It’s all the same base with the same characters, only I’m focusing on the plot-lines of the second book rather than the first. The back story of my protagonist (or mainly, another set of characters, as I came to realize), is now a thing of the past, not the core plot-line. This past already played a big part in my second book (obviously) and is prominently mentioned throughout the entire novel within dialogue and occasionally monologue. Because of this, there isn’t much to edit in the 40k+ words I’ve written down and the future events that will soon occur.
I can’t even begin to describe the clarity I feel with this realization, the click in my heart when I pasted the epilogue of my first book into the first chapter of my second book. I even came up with a new title for this project, which I’m afraid I can’t tell you.
But I can tell you how happy I am starting this new project with the same character who I’ve grown to know better than myself, whose stories I refuse to give up on until I get them right. I understand now when authors say there’s that book that just clicks, when the words flow and the doubts vanish from being so caught up in the story. This is how I feel, and even if this book doesn’t sell in years and years, I feel incredible with the way this book is developing.
This week, after pasting in the new first chapter, I’ve been going back through the 47k+ words I have down and making edits. I wanted to elaborate and emphasize certain details with this change before I continue with the plot. I’m happy to say there hasn’t even been much to edit. I’m already in the middle of chapter four (page 38) out of sixteen chapters (178 pages).
For a deeper look, here’s a peek at the app I use to both keep me focused and track my word count, or in this case, how many words I went through and/or edited:
I’ve written about 1,500 words and edited about 9,800 words. But as I said, there hasn’t been too much to edit, so most of those words were simply read and left alone. I began the book merge on Tuesday, my day off from my schedule, but as you can see, I simply couldn’t resist.
My best day this week was Wednesday, where I went over 1,500 words in one sitting and a total of 2,300+ that day. And overall, I’m thrilled with my progress, especially with having a couple of events throughout the week. I couldn’t be happier with this project and how it’s coming along. I hope and pray that this will be the book an agent will adore, a publishing company will want, and for you, my greatest friends, those who always support me, to someday read. But for now, here’s Tom Hiddleston trying to make a heart:
I hope you all enjoyed this update! It was a long one, but I wanted to get it all out there now to avoid any future confusion. And also because I have an exciting idea for a music playlist which is inspired by a new character in my standalone. Hint: HE IS BIG AND HE LIKES FIRE AND JASON MOMOA MAY OR NOT BE MY CHARACTER STENCIL FOR HIM.
I AM EXCITED. CAN YOU TELL BY MY CAPITAL LETTERS???