Sunday, April 12, 2015


LOL - I just cliffhangered myself!

Am reading the rest of draft one of Night Shift, so I have a better sense of how to handle the details left out of the outline. Read the last chapter I wrote over a year ago, #33. It ends right in the middle of something very important! But nooo, now what, there's gotta be more! My eyes popped wide open when I realized that in fact, that's where draft one ended.

Reading old stuff is fun. Chapter 33 has some dramatic stuff going on and I got caught up in that. I don't clearly recall writing all of it so it was great fun to find out what happened. Right at the tail end of one dramatic part, Kazimir said something very irreverent about angels and I just cracked up laughing. Of course I know the characters deeply so it's natural that I found it so funny. My aim is to make other readers laugh out loud at that spot too, assuming that plot point survives into draft two!

There's a bunch of great dialogue between Kazimir and Devorah that's specific to the situations it happens in; much of that doesn't make it into the outline so it's not going to be in draft two. Sad, so sad. What I love about it is not just seeing Kaz's wacko sense of humor, it's also seeing Devorah react to it and seeing her own personality adapt to the new environment she finds herself living in.

I don't (at this point in time) intend to write a sequel or a prequel, but as a writer, I can't help thinking about showing readers how Devorah got involved with demons in the first place. One of the big reasons I dumped draft one is that Devorah asks way too many questions. She's a deer in the headlights most of the time. Not good for the Point Of View character! I could probably swing a great novel from that point in her history if I told it from Kaz's viewpoint. That would put the focus on the person who has a better idea of what's going on.

That thought was what led me to the realization that for draft two, I should have switched the main characters' roles and made Kazimir the initiate and Devorah the long-time Crosser. That would have presented her the way I wanted when I was first developing the story idea. But I whined about that in a previous post so am not going to rehash it here.

It's not as if I don't like Devorah the way she is now. It could be said that I am showing the beginning of her Crosser career and why her personality develops as it does, even if I'm not starting with the day she first met Kazimir.

Readers of my blog, if you're a writer, feel free to comment on things you've had to drop from early drafts and why it hurt to cut it. If you're a reader but not a writer, let me know about scenes you've read where it felt like something got cut out and whether or not you're satisfied with that. I'm always curious about other writers' processes, and curious about what average readers think as they read.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Changes made and changes passed up

Gaaah! It's hard to toss stuff you like. Kicking characters out into the ether is bad enough, but somehow it's worse when I have to drop scenes that have quality interplay between characters.

I'm working on draft 2 of Night Shift, my paranormal novel. I made an outline for it by cannibalizing draft 1. Reading through draft 1 for the parts I can edit and re-use, I'm finding some great dialog between Devorah and Kazimir that is downright painful to dump. The passages really illustrate their relationship. Those characters are just not going to be the same people in draft 2, and it's a loss. The start of their kind of nutty relationship is, to me, just priceless, and it explains why they become the people they do later in the book.


Had an even more painful revelation recently. Thinking about each main character's place in the overall story, and what I wanted to say in the story, I realized that before I did the outline for draft 2 I should have reversed Devorah's and Kaz's roles. She should have been the 400-plus-year-old demon and he should have been the recruit. That would have made Devorah the natural choice for the POV character, the way Kaz wants to be.

However, each of them goes through specific changes in their current roles that would have been impossible if those roles were reversed. They would have become completely different characters. That might have been okay for readers who never met them before, but I like the plot points in the outline and how the characters change. It's a good story the way it is.

And honestly, I'm so not willing to tear the damn thing apart and start from scratch. Rebuild both characters from the ground up? Ehhhh, nope. Should I get enough feedback from draft 2 that suggests I should do that, I'll consider it, but for now, just gonna roll with what I have.

I also realize that my blog desperately needs an overhaul, but who's got time for that? I'm beta reading for somebody, got a full-time day job, do some online work after the day job because it's fun and brings some extra money, am one of several moderators on a critique site, do admin and moderator stuff for Weekend Writing Warriors, and work on my novel in between all of that. Not to mention that gardening season is approaching and I need garden time.

Poor little blog, starving for attention :-)

Thanks for popping in today. Readers are the backbone of what I do and I appreciate you coming by!