Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Daunting Process of Redrafting a WIP

A little while ago, I finally figured out where I went wrong with my YA contemporary. A few summers ago (I think 3?), I made it to 70,000 words. I did like 1,000 a day; a mini goal to get me taking writing seriously. Of course, I skipped some days, wrote less on others, but my goal had been 70k. And I MADE IT, which I was proud of. But then I kind of just quit my story because at that point I'd realized that I went wrong somewhere and I didn't want to keep going when I knew that I wanted to rewrite *so much* of it. I wasn't even close to finishing the book anyway, so I stepped away for a bit. Like three years. Whoops? But I don't know, maybe I needed that time. Because once I figured out what needed changed, I was actually looking forward to redrafting.

Does this count as my first draft if I never finished it? LOL. It's been a bit difficult, though, because there's a lot that needs changing in these beginning chapters. What happened was that the major plot point of the book was placed too far into it (which idk how I did that, because it made no sense being nearer to the end). So the beginning needs to be reworked to lead UP to that point, and then I feel like it'll get easier from there. But damn, it's not easy work! I didn't think it would be, and you know, I'm still having a little fun with it. Daunting as fuck, though, when I think about how much I still have to do. But I KNOW my story will be all the better for it once I've finished. So yeah, I thought I'd write another post about writing and a new WIP, since it's on my mind. ;)

Some Tidbits About My WIP
1. There are two POVs: Kit (Christopher) and Maya. It's set in Indiana (because apparently I hate setting any story in Michigan. LOLOL).

2. Kit was in an accident almost a year at the start of this, and he lost one his best friends. So he's dealing with grief, and survivor's guilt, and the fact that he might not be able to play baseball anymore, and I'm kind of like breaking him down before building him back up. And I feel baaaad. omg. Kit also attempted suicide before, but only his brother (Caleb) knows. So he's got a lot to heal from. It's been hard to write because it feels like *a lot* but I want to write with as much care and thought as possible. And, I'm coming to realize, that literally ALL my books will tackle tough subjects. I just can't do fluffy, for some reason. ANYWAY, it can get exhausting so I don't do a lot at once. But I love this kid and his big heart.

3. Maya's mom died around two years ago, and she didn't have any immediate family that she knew of so she's been bounced around in the foster care system. But her social worker finally finds her grandparents, so they become Maya's guardians. So she's working through her own grief but relearning what it means to have family. AND she's dealing with an anxiety disorder, so she's got a lot on her plate too. She's also been badly hurt by a friend so it takes awhile for her to open up to people again. Maya's been a bit easier to write than Kit, though. But I have to rework bits and pieces of her past later on, and ugh.

4. Kit's brother, and his best friend Asher, are major players in the book. And they're also totally in love, and I'm excited to explore their relationship on the side. Their IDs: Caleb is gay, and Asher is pansexual. I've toyed with the idea of a short story where they spend their summer doing ALL THE THINGS before Caleb heads to college in the fall. It would honestly be so fun! I love these two. <3

5. Religion is a fairly heavy theme in here. Kit's dad is a local pastor, so you know, he grew up in the church and has faith. But because I am so not a religious person much anymore, this isn't going to be at all preachy. More, I'm confronting things through Kit's own lens of the world. I want his dad to be a cool guy, and he IS open-minded (when Caleb comes out, his parents are fab about it), but Kit is not so sure where he fits in with Christianity anymore, so they fight a lot. idk, this relationship is just really difficult for me to write. I haven't gotten into it enough yet, but I'm not super looking forward to it.

6. Josephine and Travis Ford (Maya's grandparents) are loosely, loosely based on my own deceased ones. I love writing her relationship with them, because it becomes SUCH an important one in her life, and they give her a place to belong, to be herself. They're not perfect, and they are as much at fault for the rift between them and Maya's mom, but they love their granddaughter. And I want to show that families aren't always nuclear ones, and that you can choose your own.

Have a snippet :D

My goal for this summer is to finish redrafting all of what I have written (I'm only on page 14 of 133. ahhhh *sobs*), and to finally be able to write The End. I've cut over 6,000 words already, and though I might use some of them again, a lot of it probably won't make it back into my WIP. But I think some of it was unnecessary, and I can tell that I've grown as a writer, so I'm not sad about the big cuts. I'm still stuck redrafting chapter 3 (a Kit chapter) right now. So far his stuff has needed the most change. My hope is that it'll get easier once I get the beginning and plot exactly where I want them. I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on this as the summer progresses, as well as my dark fantasy (which I still work on from time to time). And I hope you enjoy the snippet. :)

What WIPs are YOU working on right now? Are you hoping to finish any this summer? Do you find redrafting hard or easy or somewhere in-between? Got any advice for a first-timer? Haha. Let's talk! :)

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