There's a special magic in the air when you're writing new content for a story you're invested in. Whether it's a full on sequel or just adding in new content, creating that narrative, expanding the world, it's a unique and intoxicating feeling.
I bring this up because, if you read yesterday's blog, you'll know I'm writing more on The Paladin. It's bittersweet. On the one hand, I had previously thought it good enough to try submitting to a couple agents, meaning that I'm taking several steps back in publishing process. On the other hand, I've talked with a beta, workshopped a bit with my lovely and supporting wife, and we all think that what I'm doing is going to result in a better story.
If you didn't know what I'm doing, basically, I'm chopping my current manuscript in half. At the moment it's setting at 135,000 words and needs to come down to 110,000 or less. I took an audit of the least critical scenes and chapters, and so far I've only found about another 11,000 I can remove. Even then, though, it cuts out a lot of important stuff and rushes the story along. But if I split the book in two, that changes everything.
Most of the current manuscript, I'd say everything after about the 1/4 mark, will be moved to the second book. A few key scenes and chapters directly related to the first 1/4 will stay, but otherwise, it all moves over. That means I have the last 3/4 of "book 1" to complete. In essence, this means writing an entirely new story.
I'm no fool, though, despite persistent rumors. I know that if I let this get out of control I'll just have two books with bloated word counts. I've worked out a story that weaves the existing elements together nicely and shouldn't have a huge word count.
The best part about this is it lets me expand on certain character, let Jonathan, my MC, take his time getting used to the world rather than rushing through it. I can let my readers get more attached to characters, get a better feel for them.
I'm excited. I'm plotting right now and the story I have in mind is already meeting approval with one of my betas. It means new characters, new plot lines, and of course my favorite, making sure all the plots tie together between the two stories. Yeah. I'm crazy. But I think this just might work out.
Be Excellent to Each Other.
Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.