So Take 3 of Book 2 is done (translation: I finished the first official round of revisions on Escape the Light, which is technically the third draft because I had to redraft the first draft after I finished Abnormal), which means I should probably get cracking on the train wreck of a draft that is Book 3.
I know that “The first draft of anything is shit.” (Credited to Hemingway, according to the interwebs.) I know that. But so far, Book 3’s first draft is a special kind of shit. The kind that makes me want to burn it and bury the ashes (and it’s mostly a digital file–there are a few handwritten pages, but can’t exactly burn a digital file).
It starts off…okay. Then, through a series of poorly-written events, it derails and ends up circling back around on itself in an endless loop of crap. I’ve got a lot of work to do.
There are debates in the writing community about whether one should write a draft straight through and edit later or whether it’s okay to edit-as-you-go. I’m of the latter group, especially having rewritten most of Escape the Light to get it to match up with the revised ending of Abnormal. Rewriting an entire draft sucks. It’s a pain in the ass, and it’s obnoxious. So I’d rather go back on Book 3 while it’s still a baby draft and rewrite the first five chapters, as opposed to rewriting twenty-something after I finish this steaming pile.
Don’t get me wrong; when I’m done, Book 3 will be amazing. I know where I want to go with it, I just can’t seem to get the train on the right track. Once I get back in the groove of things, it’ll fly along like usual. My hope is to finish the first draft before Escape the Light is published. With all the embroidery projects I have ahead of me I’m not sure if I’ll make that goal, but I’m keeping hopeful.
I think the hardest thing will be writing the things that I don’t know. How fast do babies grow? What are their milestones? What’s war like? How would a battle in a decimated wasteland play out? What’s postpartum depression like? Postpartum psychosis? What’s the difference? So many questions to ask, so much research to do. I have a feeling I’ll be bugging friends and family members with some of this. Sure, I can go to the Google and search a bunch of crap, but as far as first-hand accounts of combat versus academic articles–Well, c’mon, it’s a no-brainer. I have to be careful, though, because asking questions like that can trigger bad PTSD moments. So I also have to tiptoe. Don’t want to alienate everyone just for the sake of authenticity.
This post is obviously a stalling tactic. If I’m writing the post about writing, then I don’t have to write, right?