Taking the Risk to Stop and Re-Write

I am almost half-way through writing the 3rd book in my Svatura series – Crimson Dahlia. Over a hundred pages in, I was getting a feeling that I wasn’t entirely satisfied with where the book was headed. While I have some specific plot points in mind when I write, how I get there is a revelation to me – almost as much as it is to my readers sometimes. It took me a while to put my finger on what was bothering me, but when I finally did, I knew it meant making a tough decision.

My goal is to publish Crimson Dahlia by the end of August of this year. It’s a bit of a tight deadline, but doable. I’ll admit I was falling slightly behind, but nothing that couldn’t be caught up. And then I realized that I needed my two main characters – Lila and Ramsey – to spend a lot more time together than I had written up to that point. And that’s what was bugging me.

I can see how I fell into this trap. Hyacinth ends with (SPOILER ALERT) Lila being kidnapped. And so Crimson Dahlia must – naturally – start with her and Ramsey separated as he struggles to find and rescue her.So not a lot of direct time spent together up front. I started thinking that to fix this issue I just needed to go back and add a scene here or there – perhaps some flashbacks of Lila and Ramsey together. But I realized that wouldn’t be enough.

That’s when I made the tough decision. I had an idea of how to get them together more, but it was going to require a major rewrite of what I’d already finished. The dilemma this poses is the threat to my release timing. I work full time and am wrapping up an MBA degree. Not to mention I have kiddos. So I have a limited amount of time to devote to writing. But I knew it was the right thing to do. Thankfully, feedback from my readers to my announcement of this has been so supportive of whatever I decide to do. (Thank you!!!)

I’m not, by any means, throwing everything out the window. I actually really like everything I’ve written so far, but it wasn’t headed in the right direction. I’m just taking those previously written scenes, putting them back in around newly written scenes, and adjusting them to fit the new direction.

I’m still mid-rewrite. Ask my editor – re-writes are a bit of specialty for me. I do better with 2nd drafts than with first drafts. So it’s going fairly quickly. I’ll know in about a week if this re-write slowed me down too much, or if I’m still on track to my August release goal. I will say that already I’m much, much, much happier with how the book is headed now. So the re-write was well worth the effort and time. Hopefully my readers will think so too. (Fingers crossed for August.)

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