Writing Project Process #1: Plotting Natural Rebirth

Don’t know if this is going to be a regular Tuesday subject or just something I talk about when the mood strikes me, but I thought as I’m working on a current project I could talk about what I do to prepare. I guess it’s not fully always in the creative or tech end of things, but just the things I need to do to get my brain to prepare for writing. Like right now I’m getting ready to work on revisions on the sequel to Natural Order, so I’m not exactly starting from the beginning but it’s been long enough since I worked on the project because of too many reasons to go into, then I’m looking at doing some heavy rewrites and reorganization of what I’ve written so far.

See normally I start with an outline of where the story starts and all the way to where it’s going to end up. Keep in mind by the second or third chapter the outlines pretty much thrown out the window, but having the outline not only gives me the confidence to feel like I’m ready to write, but it gives me a clear idea of what research I need to do before I begin. In the case of Natural Rebirth I am literally taking the file that I’ve written, renaming it a temp file, and chapter by chapter taking sections out so I can change what comes before what. The main reason for this is I felt the beginning I had before, honestly it just lacked that intensity that I thought the first chapter needed to pull a reader in. So instead of starting with my heroine I think I’m going to begin with the POV villain chapter instead.

Now starting with the villain will likely snowball into several other chapters being switched around. There is also the fact that a character was added to Natural Order in the second edition of the story, and the existence of this character affects how things are going to happen in the sequel. Another big reason for the needed changes is I noticed that there was an unfortunate pattern forming between the first book and this one and I need to redo things. In the first book the heroine was dependent on her family to pull her out of the fire so to speak with things got really bad. It was important in the first book because it was something that brought the family closer together and added a heightened element of trust on the heroine’s part towards them. I think in this book she needs stand on her own more. This is going to take some figuring out so that I can still have the conflict and the intensity, but so that they heroine has more agency in making choices that affect her growth and the growth of her community as a whole.

Part of what I’m doing to prepare for this big reorganization is gathering my notes from the first book to make sure I have all the information about the setting, characters, and any research notes I need so that there are no consistency problems from book 1 to book 2. The task seems a little daunting right now but I think once I sit down and start the reorg it will not only make the story flow better but there will be likely some editing stuff that I catch along the way as I’m going. There’s part of me that’s a little concerned that I’m so far along the book when I do this reorg, but on the other hand if I can get it puzzled in right that means I have you know a third of the book left to write which is a plus. I’ll know better once I sit down and actually do the transfer. Likely late this week or beginning next week. First I want to create the binder so I have of my information since the setting of the characters are really complicated in this series because it is such a expansive community and the prequel to all the other series. Important things are established in this series which is why I’ve got it be so precise about continuity because I make a mistake here and it affects everything. I promise to keep you all posted.

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