Chronicling The Craft: Revisions 20% Complete

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Practicing Patience with the Revising Process – Plus, an Excerpt from The Keeper’s Curse!

“Chronicling The Craft” is an article series where I share my experience with working on my YA fantasy novel THE KEEPER’S CURSE, starting with the first draft and now into revisions. Each article contains a progress update as well as writing / revising tips and excerpts from the updated draft. Today’s installment celebrates 20-percent completion of Draft #2 of THE KEEPER’S CURSE.

I’ve missed this series! It’s been 2 months since the last Chronicle, when I began revising The Keeper’s Curse (TKC). But since May was insanely busy, this gap between postings meant one less thing on my plate last month. Now I’ve reached the 20-percent milestone in Draft #2, and I’m thrilled to have an update for you. 😀

This new round of Chronicles will feature a similar format as the Draft #1 round. I’ll start with a Progress Report, covering what I’ve worked on since the previous Chronicle. Next will be Today’s Tip, where I offer craft-related advice on novel revisions. Finally, the new third section… well, I’d say it’s a surprise, but the subheading sort of gives it away. 😉 

The 20-Percent Progress Report

As of Sunday (the last time I worked on TKC), I’ve revised 86 pages out of a total of 428. This brings me halfway through Chapter 8. It’s been a lot of fun revisiting the early sections of this story, and a bit horrifying too. Sometimes I read lines that I first wrote almost 2 years ago, and I ask myself, “What on Earth was I thinking?” A writer can grow so much during the process of writing a single book, especially if it takes a while to complete the first draft. Now the trick is taking what I’ve learned since then and applying it to make the story stronger and more compelling. Hopefully.

While some parts of TKC won’t change too much between Drafts #1 and #2, other parts (well, most of the novel) have undergone or will undergo a major overhaul. Here are some of the general items on my revision checklist that I’ve worked on so far:

  • Rewriting scenes, conversations, or entire chapters to steer them in their intended directions
  • Condensing overwritten descriptions, especially when it comes to setting
  • Rewriting sections originally written in third-person POV to Eva’s first-person viewpoint
  • Ensuring the supporting characters are behaving and speaking in ways that are consistent with the profiles / personalities I’ve created for them

One of the “unspoken” priorities this time around is cutting the story’s word count. Draft #1 was about 131,700 words – about 20,000+ over the maximum expectations for YA fantasy. (Eek!) Here’s the headway I’ve made in that department so far:

Friday, April 10th: 131,713 words / 441 pages

Sunday June 17th: 127,929 words / 428 pages

Cut So Far: 3784 words / 13 pages

Not too bad! Two chapters are still on the long side, so they’ll need more trimming in Draft #3. But any day that the word and page counts decrease and the story feels more on track is a good day. 😀

Today’s Tip: Be Patient With Your Writing / Revision Process

Usually the tips in each Chronicle are more craft-related. But with this first revision edition, I wanted to cover a topic that I struggled with very early on in the revising process.

You might recall from the previous Chronicle that I assigned myself a deadline of Wednesday, August 5th for completing Draft #2. Considering that date is 7 weeks away, I’m only 20% of the way through, and my novel-writing time is limited to weekends… Yep. That deadline is already toast. Or, more appropriately, Drogon-roasted.

Drogon gif 2

Once I gave the situation some serious thought, my first question was, “Why do I even have a deadline to begin with?” I didn’t set one while drafting TKC until I had 5 or 6 chapters (roughly 20,000 words) left to go. Self-motivation isn’t an issue, and my work schedule and non-writing commitments haven’t changed. Most importantly, I’m not in any rush to publish the story. So, why a deadline this time?

The only explanation I could think of was this: I wanted Draft #2 to move along faster than Draft #1. In other words, I was being impatient with my novel-writing process.

I don’t know any writers who haven’t battled with patience. Whether we’re comparing ourselves to peers who tweet about their cheetah-fast progress, or we’re groping for the right words or wrestling with a scene or chapter, dealing with impatience and frustration is part of the job description. Then again, writing a novel isn’t meant to be easy. Of course, that’s not why we do it – but if we expect it to be easy, we risk making the journey more stressful and less fulfilling.

Each of us is unique. As a result, each writer has a unique process, full of quirks and rituals, strengths and weaknesses, organization skills and speed – and each of us needs to honor our individual writing process. Not all of our writerly habits will be ideal, and while some can be improved on or broken because they’re within your control, you can’t help any habits that aren’t. That’s when we need to exercise patience with ourselves, or else we end up beating ourselves up over it.

What did I do to regain patience with and honor my process? I let go of the deadline. My process had already worked well before without one. And since I’m in no rush to publish TKC, the deadline serves no real purpose. Since then, I’ve felt more relaxed about the revisions and enjoyed the process so much more. With the occasional grunting and head-desking, but that’s to be expected, right?

And remember that concern about Draft #2 taking as long to complete as Draft #1? Well, it took me about 7 months to complete eight chapters of TKC’s first draft – and about 8 weeks to reach the same point this time around. 😉

Are you struggling to be patient with your writing or revising process? Maybe these tips might help:

  • It’s all about consistency in motivation, not consistency in statistics. Historical fiction writer Heather Webb made several awesome points at Writers In The Storm about dedication and consistency in our writing habits. For example, we can’t always judge our writing or revising sessions by statistics (e.g., how many words or pages added). Some days will be more challenging than others to get the same amount of work done. Instead, practice consistency in your routine. There’s a reason why they say sitting down and actually doing the writing is the hardest part of all.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other writers. Dwelling on how others write faster or have a more efficient process never helps with patience or self-esteem. Instead, focus on empowering yourself and remembering that your methods work for you. If you’re still envious, use that envy as energy to fuel your next session. And who knows? Maybe that other writer’s methods might not work for you anyways.
  • Recognize what’s within your control. Outside factors can slow down our process, especially if you don’t write full time. However, we can’t ignore priorities we may love as much (family life, friends) or need for financial reasons (day jobs). Don’t fight the time you have to spend away from your stories. Accept it – and enjoy it, if you can – and you’ll alleviate some of the pressure you put on yourself.
  • Re-adjust goals or self-set deadlines as needed. If a deadline motivates you to get writing, then by all means make one. However, if progress is taking longer than expected despite any changes you make within your power, consider the changes you can control. How much more time will you need at your current rate to finish this draft? Are you expecting too much from yourself? Be brave and ask yourself honest questions, then make alterations based on those answers.
  • Know and respect your limits. Don’t push yourself if you’re too tired or emotionally drained. It’s a subconscious signal that the writing session needs to end. Unless you have a specified deadline to meet, turn off the laptop and rest. You deserve a recharge after all your hard work.
  • Be kind to yourself. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Never feel obligated to pull all-nighters, skip meals, or neglect other self-care for the novel’s sake. It will only heighten your stress levels and could lead to creative burn-out. Leave plenty of time for exercise, meditation, a good night’s sleep, and so on. Your mind and body will thank you for it later. 

NOTE: Some of the tips above are repurposed from my guest post at Wendy Lu Writes, “A Pep Talk for Slow Writers.”

Remember that the above advice is only advice. You know how you work best as a writer. Therefore, any struggles with patience must be tailored to your individual process. And once you adopt those practices, you’ll feel lighter, more inspired, and less overwhelmed. And maybe less like this, too. (*inserts gratuitous Drogon gif because she can’t help herself…*)

game-of-thrones-drogon-1

Excerpts To Compare For Feedback: The First Page of The Keeper’s Curse

Yes! With this round of Chronicles, I’m going to share excerpts from TKC to show readers how the novel has evolved during Draft #2. Thanks to Colin Mobey for the idea!

First, I’ll provide original text from Draft #1, with typos and such still included. Then, I’ll share the same block of text from Draft #2. The thought of doing this shakes me down to my marrow, since I still consider the story “not ready for anyone else’s eyes.” However, I think it will be fun to finally share bits of the story with you. Plus, this could be a good way of getting early feedback. Feel free to read the two samples, compare them to see what has changed, and then post your reactions or suggestions as part of your comments.

Today’s excerpts represent one of the most crucial parts of a novel. Each is the first page of Chapter 1 from its respective draft. If you could, please let me know the following:

  1. Any general comments you have on the Draft #2 excerpt
  2. Do you think Draft #2’s excerpt is an improvement over Draft #1’s? Why or why not?
  3. Would you want to keep reading the story after Page 1?

Flourish 1

DRAFT #1, Page 1

I crouched down behind a tree and peeked out from behind, watching, waiting for movement from any direction. My wings were drawn close to my back. If I kept them loose and open, even the faintest sunlight would reflect off the gossamer and give away my hiding place. In my right hand I carried my bow. My uncle Lusan had made it from yew wood when I was eight years old, the year when I first told him and Aunt Maji that I wanted to be a Council member. At first he scowled and said, “You’re a girl. Banish the thought, and do what’s expected of you.” Late that night, he caught me practicing with my cousin Gidion’s bow and arrows, shooting apples cleanly through their cores, and realized I would not take “no” for an answer. The memory made me smile, and my thumb caressed the smoothed wood of the bow. My left hand was empty. I did not need an arrow for what I would need to do when the time came.

After moments of quiet and stillness, I withdrew and leaned against the tree. They had to be close by. I had already heard two pairs of yelps that could only belong to boys – Faerie boys, that is. Which meant that Keli had found Nito and Doni, and I was the only one left. Whoever struck first would win the game.

Inhaling, I let my senses study my surroundings. The sweet scent of pine floated in the air. Birds chirruped in the branches above me. A breeze rustled the leaves and needles of Kasialonen’s medley of trees. But I heard no voices, no footsteps, not even the humming of wings. Keli was cunning like that, though. He was the Council spy expert, after all; he had the best eyesight and hearing out of the seven of us, and he had taught himself to tiptoe through the forest without ever breaking a twig underfoot. It would be impossible for me to sense him through the five usual senses – but I could through my magic.

Flourish 1

DRAFT #2, Page 1

I crouched down behind an elderberry bush and studied our target through breaks between the feather-like leaves. Several paces ahead was a lone white-tail doe. Her neck angled downward as she nibbled on a tuft of forest grass, and her ears and tail were relaxed. She wouldn’t be going anywhere for a while, as long as we were quiet.

Doni pressed himself onto the ground beside me. The afternoon sunlight glistened on his hair of gold-streaked copper, and his gossamer wings were drawn close to his back, just as mine were. “Now?” he mouthed, grasping his hunting bow.

I nodded. “Remember. Aim slowly, then shoot when your instincts say so.”

Doni slowly rose to bended knee and pulled an arrow from the quiver on his back. His round, babyish face hardened with concentration, making him seem older than his fourteen years. When Doni joined the Council of Selanaan five months earlier, he’d blushed when he admitted his father had rarely taken him hunting, instead encouraging Doni to study history and become an advisor to the King of Fae. Without hesitation I had volunteered to teach Doni how to use his bow and arrow, and not purely out of sympathy. We’d waited to start until winter had passed and spring beckoned the animals from their season of sleep. Now, after several target lessons and struggling with impatience, Doni seemed like he was getting the knack of hunting.

The doe moved on to the next tuft of grass, unaware of our presence. The woods gave her no reason to suspect otherwise. Birds chirruped and flitted around as if it was a normal spring day. A breeze rustled the leaves and needles of Kasialonen’s trees, stirring the fresh scents of pine and moist earth. I relished the smells of spring, then brought my focus back to Doni. His foot and bent knee pointed toward the doe as he nocked his arrow and pulled back his string arm. His shoulders open and relaxed, his grip on the bow not too firm. He was ready.

What do you think of the excerpts above? Do you think the example from Draft #2 is an improvement over the example from Draft #1?

Also, have you struggled with being patient about your writing or revising process? How did you learn to manage this – or does it still trouble you now? Feel free to share your responses to any of these questions, or any other thoughts you might have, in the Comments section below.

27 thoughts on “Chronicling The Craft: Revisions 20% Complete

  1. Hi there! I just got an email alerting me of this post, and all I can say is: wow. This is so chock-full of amazing advice and to top it all off, it’s relatable. I have a ton to say about this, so I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to split my comment into two: one for the first portion of your post, and one for your excerpts, which I’ve yet to read while composing this comment.

    Here’s the first comment. I apologize in advance for the length–it may as well be its own blog post!

    “If we expect it to be easy, we risk making the journey more stressful and less fulfilling.” – This whole section on patience hit me right in the gut. I can’t tell you how impatient I am with myself, not only in writing but in life. Granted, I often find that I beat myself up over my slow process/habits, which definitely doesn’t help move things along.

    “It’s all about consistency in motivation, not consistency in statistics.” – I’ve found this to be true for me as well. When I declare a goal to achieve a minimum word count per day, my consistency plummets (I struggled to forge a #WriteChain longer than 7 days until I dropped the word count idea. Once I made my daily goal more flexible, my chain grew to 40-something links—over a month of writing every single day without fail). I think this time around, I’m going to set my goal to be a certain amount of time per day rather than a certain number of words, which also gives me the flexibility to edit, not just compose.

    “Don’t compare yourself to other writers.” Comparing myself to writers is my BIGGEST WEAKNESS. There are so many writers I beyond admire, but I’m ashamed to say, spark a bit of green envy in me. I have to be reminded of this CONSTANTLY… and I thank you for giving me today’s reminder!

    “Be kind to yourself.” This section addresses something that baffles me about the really super-productive writers: how some of them let self-care take the backburner. I remember reading the blog of a writer I admired/envied (that darn comparison habit at its finest) and actually thinking, “wow, she’s SO DEDICATED to her writing. She eats chips and a scoop of peanut butter for lunch because she just can’t tear herself away from her manuscript long enough for a proper meal. I wish I were that dedicated!” Now that I’m focusing on fitness and health and have been consistently for 6 months, I can honestly say that I know for a fact I would NEVER happily function that way and would possibly resent myself and my writing for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • *lol* That’s OK, Cristina! I’ll respond to each comment individually. And thanks for sharing the link on Twitter!

      I’m so glad you could relate to the struggles with patience / impatience. So much of an emphasis seems to be placed on productivity, efficiency, and “getting the words on the page” that sometimes the advice can be misconstrued. Some writers might not write quickly no matter what they do to improve their writing speed (*raises her hand*), and it can be frustrating, especially when we see Tweets from other writers about “2000 words in 1 hour” or something like that. That happened to me a lot during NaNoWriMo. Even though I wasn’t participating, I saw status updates that made me envious, and wish I could write faster. But comparing yourself negatively to other writers doesn’t help your own process – or your self-esteem. So, I’ve been in the same boat as you many times, and I know the feeling.

      I like your idea about a timed goal as opposed to a word count goal. That’s what I do as well, because (as one of the sub-themes goes in the article) it’s more under your control than the word count is. As long as you set aside the time for writing, the words will come. 😉

      You’re welcome about the reminder! I’m always happy to be another writer’s cheerleader. Just remember that your writing process is as unique as you are. 🙂

      *applauds Cristina’s wellness focus* Love that last sentence especially. You know what works for you and what doesn’t, and that your overall well-being is just as important as your writing. Yay!

      As for the other writer’s chips and a scoop of peanut butter for lunch… That’s it?? I’d still be hungry afterwards!

      Like

      • Oh, I didn’t get an email for your responses (must have forgotten to check off the box…) and I totally thought you never responded for sheer fear of my comments’ lengths! Hahaha.

        But yeah, peanut butter and chips. It was something like that. I remember her saying she has a horrible diet when she’s in the middle of writing/revising, which I can’t fathom. Just sitting for long periods of time makes me antsy… if I were eating poorly/too much/not enough on top of it all, I’d probably go mad.

        Thank you again for all the awesome advice, and your response! Onto the next comment, haha!

        Like

      • Oh and I can say that I’ve made 2k words in one hour before, but that’s just one of those extremely rare moments when the words are FLOWING. Also, it’s only when I’m sprinting and therefore ignoring typos/plot holes/everything else other than words 😉

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  2. I love these excerpts! Here are my (also lengthy) comments on them. I clearly don’t know how to be brief about anything.

    General comments on the Draft #2 excerpt – I think this draft flows better with the paragraph breaks, and I like that it sets up more of the relationship between the characters than Draft 1 does.

    Do you think Draft #2’s excerpt is an improvement over Draft #1’s? Why or why not? – Yes, because it brings us more quickly into the thick of the action. The background information in Draft #1 is helpful to get to know the character, but I think the reader has to care about the character first to care about where she comes from/how her uncle treated her. And while Draft 2 does include some background on Doni, it doesn’t do so until a bit further down, when the reader’s interest is already piqued in this cute little faerie boy who clearly needs a hunting partner. I also really enjoy our early, but not too lengthy, glimpse into their relationship.

    That being said, I think the beginning of Draft 1’s first paragraph would work well in Draft 2. The image of the main character hiding, with her wings drawn close to avoid being seen, introduces action and conflict that draws the reader in and increases the heart rate; you almost feel like you’re hiding with her. With this initial paragraph, I also knew right away that she was some kind of faerie or mystical creature and wanted to know immediately why she was hiding—whereas, in the beginning of Draft 2, it simply reads like someone on a hunting excursion (possibly a human, since wings aren’t yet mentioned). I can see this paragraph beginning Draft 2, with the two of them hiding/folding their wings back to avoid startling the deer with their reflections. But, that’s just my personal opinion!

    Would you want to keep reading the story after Page 1? – Yes! There is enough unanswered here that I’d want to move on and learn more: what the Council of Selanaan is, for example. I also want to get to know the characters more: is the main character older than Doni? What’s her place in the council? Etc.
    Great job on this, and if you ever need a beta reader, please let me know—I’d love to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. LOL! To be honest, Cristina, I love and appreciate both of your comments so much. So, no worries about length or brevity. 😉

    *breathes a sigh of relief* It’s always so nerve-wracking when you share bits of a novel for the first time. As much as I loved the idea of sharing and comparing excerpts from both drafts, I’ve been nervous to the point of jitters about it. But now your comments make me feel a lot better. Not because they’re mostly positive (I would never reject criticism / constructive feedback when I know I need to hear or read it), but because of how you worded it. So thanks for taking the time to let me know what you think. 🙂

    I really like your suggestion about somehow combining the first sentence of Draft #1 with the new intro paragraph of Draft #2. That distinction (Faerie vs human) needs to be made as soon as possible in the story. I couldn’t quite figure out how this time around, but now I think I might have a better idea of how to do it.

    Also, your comments in general make me feel like I’m closer to reaching that goal of getting this first scene more ” on track.” Originally, Eva and three of her fellow Councilors (Doni included) were playing a magical version of hide-and-seek. But then I realized, “Wait. They’re Councilors. They ought to be making better use of their time.” So I thought a little more about who was in that scene besides Eva and how to rework the scene to give it purpose while showing how Eva is likeable. Enter Doni’s archery lesson. And that way, when the story’s inciting incident arrives on Page 4 / 5 and readers learn about Eva’s vow of vengeance, they realize how complex she is, a relatively good character with a dark side that becomes part of the story.

    Btw, those two questions you asked in the last paragraph are answered later in Chapter 1. 😉

    Thanks for the beta-reading offer, too! I’ll absolutely be looking for some when TKC is ready, so I’ll keep you in mind.

    Like

    • Oh, I’m so glad! I’m still sort of new to revisions and whatnot myself, so I was hoping my comments made sense/were helpful, haha.

      Yeah–I hope it came across as positive because I really do enjoy both versions of this chapter! But I know I always want something more than just “this is really good!” when looking for feedback so I thought I’d offer my perspective… but that’s nerve-wracking in and of itself because I never want to come across harsh!

      You’re super brave for sharing–I know I’m not quite there yet!

      Like

  4. Impatience, ah yes, the old foe! And I must admit it mostly stems from seeing/hearing how other writers are writing “such and such” words in one day, when I’ve barely managed 100 words. Or when they’re flying through editing, and I’m still on the same chapter for several days. How am I dealing with this now? I’m slowly realizing that “rushing the process” doesn’t make a story better, so if I need more time than other people do it’s okay for me to take the necessary time. Also, by creeping along at my snail pace I find I have little to change in story content or my characters while I’m editing because I took so long the first time around mapping everything out. I spent a lot of time on story structure before writing a single word, just because that’s how my brain works–I can’t function without a set plan, lol. But I still like to leave plenty of room for unexpected ideas and scenes too. The second thing I do is what you and Cristina mentioned: my goal is a certain amount of time per day, not words. This change has helped my motivation greatly! I do like to have a goal to aim for–like finishing Draft 3 by August–but it’s not a serious die-if-you-fail goal ;). It’s okay if I don’t make it, but I sure do want to try!

    As for the excerpts: I really like the advice Cristina gave. I agree that the fact Eva and Doni are faeries should be made known soon in the first paragraph. When reading excerpt 1, I was a bit confused as to what was going on, so I like how excerpt 2 switched that around. 🙂
    The 4th paragraph could be divided into two. Where it says: “Without hesitation…” there and below that is a separate idea from the 1st half of the paragraph with Eva now involved.
    Does it make me want to read more? Oooohhhh YES! Questions are raised that only reading on can answer!
    Will all of TKC be in first person POV?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for your feedback, Elizabeth! I’ll definitely incorporate Cristina’s idea about making their “Faerie-ness” more clear in the 1st paragraph. And I’m glad you thought Excerpt #2 was clearer and had more purpose. That’s what I hoped to accomplish with the revised scene. *does a happy dance*

    Yes, TKC is all in first-person from Eva’s POV. I started out with 3rd person in Draft #1, but wasn’t satisfied with it. I was having a hard time getting to the core of Eva’s emotions and developing her narrative “voice” that way. So I switched to 1st person, and the change made a world of difference.

    That’s great that you took the time you needed to map out your story before drafting it. And it sounds like we have very similar novel-writing methods, too. I outlined TKC and started world-building before I started the first draft. Although… there came a point where I was so excited about the story that after a month of pre-planning, I said, “Forget it. I’m jumping in – NOW!” *lol* I probably should have spent a little more time with world-building and character profiles before doing that, and I’ve been catching up on both ever since then. But let’s call that a lesson learned for next time. 😉

    Best of luck on your Draft #3 goal! Do you think you’ll reach it by the end of August? How much more do you have left right now?

    Like

  6. It was great reading both versions. While I agree with both the previous readers that you needed to establish that your protag is Fae, I think the 2nd draft is far stronger than the first draft. For starters, as you’ve already pointed out, giving someone a lesson in hunting ups the stakes and increases the narrative tension, which makes your reader want to turn the page…:) Well done on your very structured, organised attitude to your editing process.
    I’ve now completed the rewrite of ‘Running Out of Space’:))). Many, many thanks for your help. And if you need it, I’ll happily return the favour when the times comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gotcha. I’m definitely going to revise the first few lines so that readers know in that opening paragraph that Eva is a Faerie. Thank you, Sarah!

      Wow, that was incredibly fast for ROoS. Have you received feedback from other beta-readers on it, too?

      And of course, I would be happy to have you beta-read TKC when it’s ready. 😀

      Like

      • I dived straight back into it… I’ve probably spent 30-40 hours on it to date, so it doesn’t feel all that fast to me! I’ve had feedback from one of my other beta readers, but there didn’t seem much point in giving it out to anyone else until I’d put in place the changes I needed to make. I’m now going through and getting the computer to dictate it to me, while I follow the m/s line by line…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yay for progress! Cheetah-fast. Reminds me of my boys. 😉 The excerpts are definitely the improvement. Got rid of that pesky infodump in the beginning lol. I’ve never had much trouble with being patient more like actually doing it hence why I like to self-set deadlines. To be a published author you’re going to have to eventually adhere to them, so I’m figuring I’ll get practice in now plus I have some people expecting these pieces lol. Happy writing!

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • *lol* Yeah, I’m not a fan of info-dumps, either. I’m glad you think the second excerpt is an improvement over the first. 🙂

      “I’ve never had much trouble with being patient more like actually doing it hence why I like to self-set deadlines. To be a published author you’re going to have to eventually adhere to them…”

      ^^ That’s actually why I tried setting a deadline this time around. The one I set was probably too unrealistic. *shrugs* I have no problem meeting other deadlines; I have self-set ones for my tea reviews, and my articles for DIY MFA are due in every 7 weeks. (Originally was 5 weeks, but we’re adding two new columnists very soon.) So I know I can do it when the time comes for my stories… But I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

      Like

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  9. I actually liked draft 1 more! 😡 It seemed more magical, and I felt much closer to Eva than I do in draft 2. I actually found myself skimming over words in draft 2, but I think a lot of that is personal preference and nothing to do with your fantastic writing abilities! I’m much more interested about faerie hide-and-seek than yet one more thing about hunting. I especially liked the sentence you left off with: “It would be impossible for me to sense him through the five usual senses – but I could through my magic.” I was curious and wanted to know more, and to see what kind of magic she uses, whereas in draft 2 I mostly wanted to continue reading just to get to something else happening (which is probably why I was skimming it). I hope this is helpful? I think Christina’s suggestion above might bridge the two excerpts and bring more of the magic back into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • *lol* That’s OK, Leslie. The same thing happened to me before: I made the same face before on someone’s blog comments, and then learned it made the angry emoticon. 😉

      And that’s OK regarding personal preference, too. I still like the ethereal tone of Draft 1’s first page… but when I was re-reading it to start Draft 2, my thought was, “Eva’s a Councilor who takes her job seriously. Shouldn’t she be doing something more… constructive than playing hide-and-seek?” So, the rewritten scene was a way to bring more purpose to the scene before the inciting event occurs.

      That being said, the hide-and-seek and other bits of the original Page 1 (including a rewritten version of the sentence you quoted) are still in Draft 2. I just moved them a page or two later based on the changes I wanted to make. 😉 Does that (this paragraph and the one before) make sense?

      And yes, I also like Cristina’s suggestion. I’m going to take that into account for Draft 3 (or Draft 2, once I comb through the rest of the manuscript first). 😉

      Like

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