|My brain, deciding on which plot ideas to use in one single manuscript.|
I've successfully finished Draft 2 of my Work In Progress! Draft 2 was a serious overhaul, concentrating on getting all the plot points in order and fleshed out, as well as adding in a brand new ending. In all, I chopped over 60 pages of material, wrote nearly 150 new pages of material, and as a result, actually have a legitimate draft of this novel completed.
But it's still got a long way to go.
I'll be handing it off to my critique group soon for a full read-through (they've only seen bits and pieces so far). Before then, I'd like to chop at least 25-30 pages out of this version through some tough-love editing. I also need to thread the finer points of the plot through in a more consistent way (now that I finally know what those points are) and have to fiddle with many technical details, as this is a sci-fi story.
Right now it sits at a whopping 88K words (!!!), which is enormous for a Middle Grade novel, even if this is technically "upper" MG. I'm hoping my critique group will have some helpful ideas for how to tighten the entire manuscript up, but I'm also coming to terms with the fact that this book is just bigger than any other story I've ever done. Both in terms of length, and in terms of depth/scope. If I can eventually get this under 70K, it will be a miracle. It might not happen, honestly. Should make querying this sucker interesting, to say the least.
I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this story. I just have to hope that my critique group will help me focus in on the relevant pieces of this tale, as they've done for me before. Connecting the story dots in this thing has been nightmarishly difficult, just because there are so many of them. I've never taken on a project this huge before, and I still don't know what others will think of it.
The one thing I do know is that I have fallen in love with my main cast and I finally have all the plot events in an order that feels real to me. Also, as I've begun to read-through this second draft, I find myself looking forward to certain scenes and getting caught-up so much in reading that I forget that I'm meant to be editing. These are good signs, right? I can hope, at least.
Onwards, to constructing Draft 2.5!