Ah, Progress

I had several ideas for blog posts last month, but April ran out before I got to them. It was a good month though–I’m nearly halfway through the second draft of Portal Woes and two weeks ago I broke the 80,000 word mark on TOSOTH’s rough draft. We also put the porch furniture out last weekend. 😀 I’m happy about that. The front porch is my good-weather office.

As I mentioned in March, I changed my writing schedule. So far, editing PW Monday through Wednesday and then spending Thursday and Friday working on TOSOTH appears to be working. My focus is better now that I’m not switching gears every day, which in turn helps my productivity.

Still not entirely sure how long TOSOTH is going to be, but at this point I’m guessing somewhere between 100,000 and 120,000 words. (That number will probably decrease in the second draft when I go back and trim the deadwood.) I’ve  finally emerged from the middle of the story and now the last third is unfolding.

The week before last, I paged back through the rough draft to a certain scene to find a minor character’s name and realized from that scene that I’d managed to drop at least two major subplot points. So last Thursday, I spent the afternoon reading through the rough draft and taking notes. I sketched out the next few plot points based on what I’d rediscovered and created four new characters.

It definitely helped. The next day, I had my best TOSOTH writing day since I finished NaNoWriMo–just under 3000 words. That put me over the 80,000 word mark and back on track with the story. (Yes! :D)

There are a few lingering questions regarding the story I have yet to answer, but I’m sure they’ll figure themselves out.  I have a few more steampunk elements I’m looking forward to weaving in as well.

In Portal Woes news, I’m having loads of fun with timing again. The twins have been separated again, and both of them are having plenty of adventures.  When I wrote the rough draft, I created a timeline spreadsheet to keep everything straight. In theory, this was supposed to help me avoid problems. It has for the most part, but it created a few new problems I hadn’t anticipated.

Originally, I intended to alternate chapters between Lilia’s POV and Kevin’s. (Admiral Chesnee, Aiden, and Lon also make appearances, but I know exactly where their chapters are supposed to fit into the overall storyline.) Trouble is, the twins don’t always experience things at the same time–or even alternating times. For the narrative structure to be cohesive and mostly chronological, I’m having to break up their scenes and chapters and fit them together where the timeline calls for them. This has required rewriting certain sections so they work better as chapter starts or ends.

So far, I have two Kevin chapters in a row, because he falls into trouble while Lilia’s asleep elsewhere. And in the next few chapters, I’ll have two Lilia chapters in a row because she’s found trouble while Kevin is asleep somewhere.  (This will make more sense when you read the book, trust me.) It’s working, but it bothers me.

I’ve been thinking about why it bothers me, and the only thing I can figure is that this new chapter structure isn’t orderly enough for my tastes. *sheepish grin* Let’s face it–most multi-POV stories have a fairly structured POV rotation . Character A first, then Character B, followed by Character C, and so on. (Which means if something happens to Character B and you suddenly lose their POV chapter in the next rotation, it makes the event that much more dramatic.)

PW is definitely NOT following that route, and it’s driving me a little crazy. (Okay, a LOT crazy, actually–besides my slightly OCD POV issue, I’ve taken a metaphorical hacksaw to the last five or six chapters and part of me is still feeling the trauma.)*shrugs helplessly*

My inner editor, however, is jumping up and down with delight and madly waving her arms in this direction. My gut agrees with her. The changes are helping; the story is just…not quite going the way I intended.

You’d think I’d be used to it by now–after all, Bad Faith changed completely between the first draft and the second, and a few plot points changed from the second draft to the third.

Guess not. 😛

I do know, however, that the end result will be worth it.

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