Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Reasons Why I'm Changing Things in My Draft: A List

Reasons why I duplicated my draft document and decided to change a few very essential things when I was already over 24, 000 words:

1. Somewhere around two thousand words ago, I noticed that my characters, Jane Windham and Miles Keegan--who, mind you, are the couple in this quasi-historical romance or historical fiction with romantic elements--were still doing their own thing and not moving towards each other at all. Not even thinking about each other!

2. Because Jane is widowed in the beginning of this story. The very beginning. She's going through grief and legalities and she'd just met her husband's cousin/heir/person I had trouble not naming James and I was pretty damn bored. Jane is artistic and active, but also a definite Mama Bear to her daughter and, like, just no.

3. Miles, of course, lost his wife in Pearl, some five years ago by this point in the chronology. His deal this time around is divesting himself of some business interests, gaining some new ones, and becoming an avid supporter of the Anti-Slavery society in London in 1804--also helping his older brother figure out how to get rid of the family plantation and free all the slaves who work on it.

4. Miles is, in historical romance terms, a bit hard to redeem into romance hero material. Granted, I wasn't writing him last time around with any kind of potential re-shaping into romance material in mind AT ALL. Having the two kids with two different women? Not getting along with his aristocratic family members? These things may as well be par for the course with some historical romance hero types. But Miles ran a fucking plantation for five years and has profited off the backs of people who didn't have a choice in the matter.

Granted, quite a number of the fictional lords in historical Romancelandia aren't much better. Random mention of "Scottish land in the family"--who did they get it from and how many families did they clear off the land? "Irish estates"-- religious and cultural oppression! "Sending a younger brother to Jamaica"--most likely, that younger brother just got put in charge of some land and some slaves. "Egyptian/Roman/Greek artifacts--who did y'all steal those from?

5. Because I didn't outline the thing and as usual, in the saggy middle, I've come to regret it.

via GIPHY


1. I've kept the story in 1804 and moved Jane's husband's death back to 1803. Her one year of mourning is almost up.

2. There's actually a lot of good and not boring things in the rest of the 24,000 words that will be put back into the new document when I get to those parts, with only minor editing required. Thank goodness.

3. Ideally, I'd like this draft to be around 70ish thousand words.

4. I found a super awesome source that'll help immensely with some of Miles's storyline, so yay!

4 comments:

  1. If you're needing to change things, I think 20k-ish words is a good place to do it. You're not so far along that it's a huge ordeal. Plus it's a sign of a good writer: knowing that you ran into a wall and need to rework some things. ^_^

    Miles sounds really interesting, by the way. Lol! I think there's a lot that can be forgiven there. Plus, Jane seems adventurous enough to go for that. Like sure, he ran a plantation, but he wasn't thrilled about it. The two kids by two women part of the list is just hilarious. I wonder very much what Jane thinks of that.

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    1. I could see where this draft was going if I kept at it the way it was and it wasn't going to be good. It wasn't building towards anything any time soon.

      Miles is...complicated. Jane also has her complications and her daughter is already kind of friends with Miles's daughters, so Miles and Jane have already met and know each other. But obviously, Things Happen.

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  2. Sounds like a good point to go back and reevaluate if big changes are necessary. It's certainly a much better point that 70K. :) I'm not a planner either so I know where you're coming from with the need to make changes. It's fortunate you realized the issues now. I often don't bother to stop the draft until its done and then have to go back and re-write the first third to match up to the point where I finally figured out who everyone really was and what they were doing.

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    1. I'll try to power through to the end of a draft before making changes, but it never really works out that way for me. Besides, since I changed a thing in the beginning that was reverberating throughout the entire draft, it needs to be changed.

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