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Third Draft’s Done…Now What?

I know it’s been a while since I’ve mentioned my writing, but I do still claim “writer” as one of the job categories captured under the big umbrella of my official (and self-appointed) title of Creative Engineer Officer. And to fulfill my writing duties, each day I pull out the old manuscript and chisel away at it.

The results of a couple months of the most recent honing is the third draft of the third book of my fantasy series that re-imagines the myths of Greek mythology.

trials of hercules, books,

I should be thrilled. Typically the third draft is the big one. The first draft is just a rush to crank out a basic storyline from my outline. The second draft turns my handwritten first draft (yes, I’m old school) into a computer file while making some changes and plot additions along the way. But the third draft usually builds the full story of what will become The Book. Sure, over the next couple drafts I might add some setting details and work on “writer-ly” things like foreshadowing, symbolism, and adding tension, but the completion of the third draft normally is my “Wow, the hard part is done” moment.

Not this time. This time around I’m left with a feeling of “now what?”

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What to do? What to do?

 

Although I had a great time writing the first two books, this manuscript is frustrating me to no end. The basic storyline is strong, but those of you (all three of you – haha) who have read the first two novels in the series know that much of their appeal (according to reviewers) is the interplay between the gods (who are bad, so so bad). In this book, I simply can’t get the gods’ plot line to work into the story which is making the book rather ho-hum and one-dimensional.And – not to give anything away – I need to build up the battle between the gods themselves and between them and the titans to create the war that will occupy much of the fourth and fifth books. It’s like I just can’t get them to line up properly. I mean it’s fine when the gods won’t play nice with each other, but when they won’t play nice with me, well, that’s just rude of them.

Now I’m having a debate with myself. I have promised readers (all three of them) and myself that the third book will come out this year. However, I feel if I don’t step away from this manuscript or try to meet that deadline I will end up just churning out something I won’t be proud of. Overall, I’m having a bit of a My-Manuscript-Is-Making-Me-Want-To-Tear-My-Hair-Out time lately.

I do want to see this series to completion, but right now I have absolutely no love for this third book. So, I’m left with a brain-wracking decision and if you have any input on the matter, I’d love to hear from you.

I can…

  1. …keep hacking away at this beastly manuscript and meet my self-imposed deadline.
  2. …keep hacking away at this beastly manuscript, but ignore the deadline as I try to cobble it together into something less horrific.
  3. …set the manuscript aside and work on the fourth book in the series to see if that makes the third book fall into place (this is going to put me WAY past my deadline).
  4. …set the whole series aside for the time bering and work on one of my many other manuscripts that are patiently waiting to be turned into actual books.

Or if you have other suggestions, feel free to offer them up because right now I’m floundering around on the Manuscript Shore just hoping someone will toss me back into the Writer Sea.

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9 thoughts on “Third Draft’s Done…Now What?

  1. David Anderson says:

    Forget the deadline. I would have suggested taking a break from it for now but I think working on the fourth book is a great idea. Maybe that will help getting a way to work out book three. No mater what, don’t beat yourself up about it.

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  2. crawcraftsbeasties says:

    Ah, a dilly of a pickle. I had a similar predicament with a Beastie shirt last week – I slaved over it for an entire day (honestly, a human-sized one would have taken less time), then stepped back at the end and realised it just wasn’t right. My deadline was looming, what to do? Gaaah! I left it overnight, worked on some other parts of the commission, and that helped me see that I needed to bite the bullet and start over. So I think taking a look at book 4 might be the way to go. Switching your attention to something else is sometimes the best way to get problems to sort themselves out! Good luck!

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  3. Abbie says:

    Hmmm…. Well, you need to be proud of the finished product, that’s for sure. Forget the deadline. If it’s frustrating you that much maybe you should set it aside. I have no experience writing books, I can barely write blog posts. I don’t know if working on book 4 will help, moving on to something else, or sticking with book 3 and tinkering with it will be the answer. All I can say is DON’T GIVE UP, entirely!!!! I love your books and can’t wait to read it, whenever it’s finished – but no rush 😉

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