There was always supposed to be a third instalment in the Beginner's Guide series; I'd even written the first draft of the book by the time A Beginner's Guide To Saying I Do was published. But I wasn't happy with the draft. I wasn't happy with the next one, or the one after that. And by the time I'd pushed Draft Five aside, I was thoroughly fed up. I knew Ruth's story wasn't finished yet, but I couldn't seem to get it right.
There were other books published during this time. Four of them, in fact. But I kept thinking about Ruth and the next stage of her life. And when I started working on the paperback of the first book, A Beginner's Guide To Salad, a few months ago, it reignited the need to explore Ruth's story.
There was something in those five drafts, so I started to pick through them, taking out the bits I was happy with, and even the bits I wasn't quite sure about but could tinker with. And I started to re-plot the book. There's always three POV in the full-length Beginner's Guide books, and I'd tried several combinations over the five drafts. But this time, during the re-plotting, I shifted the theme a little bit and something clicked. The three POV I'd been looking for were there. I'd already tried one of them before, but their story had felt forced, shoe-horned in to fit the theme. But now it was perfect!
The book has been re-plotted and I'm about halfway through Draft Six. And I'm loving being back in Ruth's world. I've known Ruth since 2013 so it really is like being reunited with an old friend. Draft Six won't be the final draft, but it will be the draft that I move forward with and work on until the book is ready to be published.