Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Beginning 2nd Draft of THE REFLECTING STONE

I have tied things together well enough that I feel comfortable starting the rewrite of THE REFLECTING STONE. This will be the second complete draft. I'm starting at the very beginning and will continue through to the end. I will write it in such a way that it could stand alone, but would readily lend itself to serving as the first of a series should it get published and a publisher be interested in a continuation of this story. There is much, much, much more to tell, although this first volume is already an amazing, epic story in its own right (are writers biased about their own work?).

I wrote the first chapter and went back over it, editing it a bit, although I will try to curtail my tendency to heavily edit the first several chapters before turning myself loose to move quickly through successive chapters. I'm getting back to "draft" mode, which is enjoyable once you put all your cares aside and let go of the internal editor. I hope to finish this draft in about a month, no more than six weeks if I run into obstacles.

It's possible this draft will be close enough to a finished product that I can simply edit it, but if I feel another complete rewrite would aid in the storytelling, I'm willing to do it. Each time through you understand better the connections, the motivations, the cause and effect relationships. Each time through you get better at telling it. I had tried to avoid successive rewrites, putting emphasis on the planning before writing, but I'm willing to accept the need for rewrites even with all that planning. Anything to make the story better. "The story's the thing."

This week I have been feeling a little under the weather, so I haven't pushed myself as much as I would have liked. I think I needed a bit of a break. I'll just ease into it, and within a few days should be in full swing again. Then it'll be a mad dash to the finish line. Loads of fun for us writerly types.

Gearing up again,



Wynn Bexton said...

I admire the way you work so consistently. And thanks for the critique of the piece I put up on my blog. I appreciate any commentary on it.

Adrian Swift said...

Thanks, Wynn! I try to keep at it. Keeping the flow going makes things easier. It's rough to start from scratch without that momentum.

The excerpt you shared on your blog was really impressive. It was very readable. I have often found historical fiction that I've browsed through in bookstores to be less than clear due to a great amount of obscure references to people, places and objects of material culture that I'm not familiar with, and also to move too slowly. It seems some writers lose themselves in the history and atmosphere and forget about the need for good storytelling.

Your excerpt was certainly good storytelling! Clear motivations, goals, obstacles, risks, stakes, tension, etc. Very vivid. I had no trouble at all getting right into and following it closely. That is very satisfying, as opposed to reading something and feeling you didn't quite get it. Keep up the good -- scratch that -- EXCELLENT -- work!

Any visitors to my blog who haven't visited Wynn's blog, you can find a link to it on my main page under AUTHORS' BLOGS. Well worth a visit!

Debra Young said...

I'm waving the flag for you, Adrian. I'm approaching the rewrite start line myself with SILK RIVER, and having a few nervous jitters, but I'm looking forward to the run! Good luck with THE REFLECTING STONE. d:)

Adrian Swift said...

Jitters is a good word for it, Debra! Glad you're moving forward with a satisfying project to work on.

I share your sense of jitters. I'm trying to block them out entirely, as best I can. I shift my thoughts to the positive, to dreaming and brainstorming, keeping the vision of the story in mind, the goal of the quality end product. I try not to spend any time with the doubts or anxiety because it's just not worth it. A rewrite or edit requires positive thinking! It's the only way it works.

Best wishes with SILK RIVER! Just focus on the positive, always look ahead, see the book in your mind as you wish it to be and don't worry. Whatever you do now can be fixed later. As someone said, "Don't get it right, get it written."

(I'm saying this as much for me as for you!)