Everything in book 3 was going great – the action was zipping along, the characters were leading the way, and the skeletal outline I’d started with was blossoming into a meaty story – it was all flowing along nicely. That is until something went wrong, and everything slowed to an excruciating crawl at about the halfway mark.
Thankfully it didn’t come to a complete stop, but a crawl I soon discovered can actually be worse. Oh, the characters were still heading towards the end goal, but the intensity was gone, and it felt like I was forcing every word onto the page. I kept going hoping that it just a rough spot that I could work through and fix later. But when it felt like my vision was obscured, and the path no longer clear I knew it was more than that, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to just push through it.
Feeling that something’s not quite right, but not being able to pinpoint the problem is frustrating, and of course the more I worried about it the bigger the problem became. Even reading over the first half of the draft didn’t help, it all seemed okay. I did the only thing I could at the time. I took a step back from it. I’d hoped that if I let it sit for a while the problem, and a solution, would become obvious. Thankfully it did.
I realised I hadn’t made the stakes quite high enough to justify what Mia was going to have to do. In fact I’d made something happen far too early, and too easily, and that had to be changed. However, that presented another problem – the re-writing of a major chunk of what was already written before finishing the first draft. I haven’t started from scratch, but I gave myself quite a bit of work to do. Some chapters have had to go, and others have had to be tweaked to remove characters or situations that no longer belong.
You see I can’t just make notes of what needs to be done, pretend all is okay, and move forward. My brain doesn’t work that way, never has. If there’s a problem it gnaws at me until I deal with it. So if I want to move forward, I first have to go back.
So, to the readers patiently waiting for book 3 all I can say is – I’m sorry. I know you’re disappointed book 3 isn’t already done and dusted. So am I.