Week 6 Update: Hello New Title (and draft 4, coming soon…!)

Hello all! If my calculations are correct, we are in the midst of Week Six of the 90 Day Writing Challenge. As you probably already know, I haven’t been keeping up with it the way I should. It’s gotten better recently, but I’ve been doing more planning draft 4 of my WIP than actual writing.

Unless paper writing counts. Because I’ve been doing a lot of that. The life of an English major!

I do have a bit of exciting news: I have officially renamed Soulreader, my WIP, to Blood on My Hands! Ever the perfectionist, I’m still not entirely pleased with it, but there’s still plenty of time to change it if I want. Right now I’m just happy it’s retitled at all. Giving my works titles is one of the hardest parts, and it took me long enough to come up with the first one to begin with… Still. The old title no longer makes sense with the direction and evolution of the book. It’s changed so much since draft 1! I’m sitting at my desk right now and I can see my giant legal pad with three full pages of notes for revision, both from my critique partners and myself.

There’s work to be done before it’s ready, yes, but I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! After this draft, which will indeed be a major overhaul, the hardest part will be out of the way. Blood on My Hands will finally be the novel I always wanted it to be. It’s funny how much it’s changed, actually, when you consider I did do a lot of planning beforehand, including a chapter/scene list, outline, and synopsis! But I’m very pleased with my plans for this draft.

After draft 4, I’m sending the manuscript off to a good friend of mine, Eve Jacob, for inspection. It won’t be done yet, of course, but I want to make sure there are no gaping plot holes or characterization issues I need to address before moving on. After I get her notes back, I’ll write down any more changes that need to be made that she has found, if any, and get to work on planning the next edit.

Right now, I’m looking at about 6 drafts, possibly 7. After draft 4, I will go back through, fixing any issues, adding or deleting scenes/chapters, and tightening up sentences. Then I will send the full manuscript back out to my other critique partners and beta readers. The last thing I’m planning on doing is going word by word, fixing minor spelling or grammar errors and substituting words, maybe. I’m still not sure if that stage will be before or after sending it out to beta readers. Maybe before, so I can cut down on time. The goal as of now is to be fully query-ready by the end of July! That doesn’t leave much time, I know, but I think I can do it. When finals are over I’ll have a lot more time to work on Blood on My Hands, which I’m excited about. I’ll be sure to keep you posted weekly on here, as ever!

In case you’re interested (but mostly to type it up for my own reference), here’s a list of the things I’m planning on changing in draft 4 (starting sometime this week!!):

  • Switching the POV from 3rd person limited to 1st person
  • Fixing the first chapter to include more world-building and description of the camp
  • Work on characterization and be consistent with it
  • Give the MC a sense of direction by moving up the “inciting incident” to Ch 1 or 2
  • Remove all references to a character who is no longer necessary
  • Develop the MC’s ability more, by adding new chapters/scenes
  • Raise the stakes! (new chapters/scenes)
  • Fix the last 5 chapters to reflect the new ending I want
  • Either remove the sci-fi element completely or develop it earlier on

And that’s about it! …Yeah. If anyone tries to tell you writing books isn’t a real job because it isn’t even hard… 

DON’T BELIEVE THEM.

 

–Jenna

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About Jenna

I am 24 years old, with a bachelor's degree in English. I am currently querying a YA fantasy about assassins and magical powers, and I'm revising another YA fantasy based on Mayan civilization!
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