Oct. 23rd, 2019 // Status Report
My progress on Blood of the Fallen has been quite slow. I had an epiphany back in July that sent me back to the beginning of my draft. This is now the fourth time I’ve returned to the beginning of my novel.
I struggled for a long time to find Lucy’s voice. It was brought to my attention from my betas that in the first few chapters of the book, Lucy became too strong too quickly. I had trouble making sure she had a smooth transition from an insecure high school to a confident young adult. Granted, I am having the same struggle myself, but it was difficult to write the arc successfully.
Part of the problem was my lack of attention for the project itself. School and work have taken up most of my attention and depression and general laziness have stolen my motivation for the novel. I’m working on finding a method that allows me to work on Blood of the Fallen every day and I think I’ve found the way: writing small scenes by hand, with the minimum requirement being one thousand words a day.
All of my characters sound like me (whether they speak what I’m thinking or reveal my desires) in the first draft. Each draft erases more of me from the characters as I flesh them out and make them more complex. Lucy in the first draft sounded like me back in high school: meek and insecure. Now, I’m hoping she sounds more sure of herself.
I also decided to take Lucy out of high school. I’m determined to have her in some sort of public school setting because there is a scene in the first few chapters of the novel that has to happen, and I think making Lucy older will also help me hear her voice more clearly.
Draft four is darker and gritter than the first draft of the novel. I’m considering throwing in some well-crafted violent or sexy scenes. I’m half-tempted to write out a sex scene, but I don’t think I’ll have any of them published.
Of course, I’ll publish some of the scenes online here on my blog, but I’m still in the middle of editing. Technically, the entire process has started over.
My decision to accelerate Lucy’s arc via torture has given me another curveball: writing the scene of torture. I don’t want to leave anything out, given that we meet some characters who reappear later under aliases. The torture is essential for Lucy’s development (as far as making her cold and ruthless like the other people around her), but I’m not a fan of torturing any of my characters. Not physical torture anyway.
However, since I’m knee-deep in editing a feature film for class and working on my senior portfolio, I haven’t been able to work on my novel in a month. I’m hoping that changes in the coming weeks. I like to keep you guys updated on my progress.
I also found out that I can keep track of my word count for any of my projects on the NaNoWriMo website. This discovery inspired me to write more and hold myself accountable. I can’t wait to show you all my progress. Speaking of NaNoWriMo, I have to settle on a project.
Spoiler: It’s going to be Blood of the Fallen since I’m starting over in the editing process again. However, instead of scrapping the entire manuscript and starting from scratch, I’m going to count any new scenes into the 50k challenge.
Thank you for reading this update. I’ll keep you posted.