It's been almost seven months since I last blogged about writing Book 12 - and just as long since I worked on it.
After finishing the first draft at the beginning of August 2020, I filed the manuscript away to have a little break, working on my 2020 Nanowrimo project (for now, known as Book 13) which took me up to Christmas. At the beginning of the new year, I set out my writing goals for 2021:
As you can see, although working on the second draft of Book 12 should come first, it isn't at the top of the list, and this is because I was a bit apprehensive about diving in again. I remember the book was quite messy (global pandemics and home-schooling don't mix well with trying to write a book, it turns out) and I knew there would be quite a lot of work to do. So I wimped out and took on the easier task of continuing to work on Book 13 first. I'd finished that first draft before Christmas and I knew I was happy with the structure of the book so it wouldn't need as much work as Book 12.
But with the second draft of Book 13 now complete, it was definitely time to tackle the second draft of Book 12.
I started working on Book 13 on Monday, easing myself in by re-doing the character profiles I'd printed out before the first draft. There were loads of scribbled notes on the sheets, so adding those and reprinting made a tidier set of notes to work from, but it also gave me the chance to get reacquainted with a bunch of characters I hadn't 'seen' since last summer.
I'd also set up a Word document of notes for the next draft when I finished the book back in August (because even then I knew it would need a LOT of work) and I added more thoughts that I'd had about the story and the characters during the past seven months, because although I'd been working on another book, Cleo's story was still there, in the back of my mind.
With my spruced-up character sheets and my notes printed out, it was time to actually do it. To actually dive into the draft I'd been wary of tackling for so long. And do you know what? I've loved it. I've loved getting to know Cleo all over again and all those months away from the book have given me the detachment I need to delete all the unnecessary details and info-dumps. Whole paragraphs have gone because I can see now that they're not needed.
Most of the heavy work - the shifting and rewriting - will be coming up very soon, so although I know I've been eased into this draft so far, I'm not nearly as apprehensive as I was and I'm looking forward to really getting stuck into Cleo's story and making it the best it can possibly be.