Swords and Shields Book 2: Take 3

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So I’ve been working on the second book in the Swords and Shields series for a while now.  Most recently, I’m been doing a major rewrite (literally in most cases) of the entire book to tighten up the cast and plot.  I’m about two-thirds of the way through, and I’m much happier with the draft so far.  The last third is both the most exciting and the most work.  I’ve completely removed three characters from the book, and they played prominent roles in the last third, so I need to adjust a lot of scenes to work just as well, hopefully better, than the original versions.

This is easier to do when characters haven’t been introduced yet.  I can swap in someone else because none of my readers know what’s missing or changing.  The problem is just in my own head.  I have to forget about what it was and think only of what it can be.

That can be incredibly hard.  The same way proof-reading my own work is hard because I know what it’s supposed to say.  I have to let that go.  It’s not supposed to be anything until I’m done.  Then it can be something.

I’m still excited about the new draft.  I think it’s solved a couple issues with the last draft, and I finally fixed the thing that most frustrated my first round of beta readers (it’s only two drafts late…).  The project is actually going amazingly well all told.

I wrote my 100 pages for the April Camp NaNoWriMo session.  Which ended up being a lot of words.  46,453 to be exact.  That’s an average of 464 words per page.  Definitely higher than the 250 per page I was using to estimate.  This was supposed to be about 25k worth of words, not nearly 50k.  But I also spent a lot more time with my husband and doing other not writing and not work things than I usually do in April, so it was a really productive month.

I’m hoping to ride that wave of productivity into May and through the end of my draft.  If I’m estimating right and it needs another fifty pages, that should easily be done in a month.  Then I can spend June fixing it up for beta readers.  I even have one lined up for July already and another who can probably get to it August (after July Camp NaNoWriMo).  Even if I’m underestimating and it needs another 100 pages, I should be set to go by July.  Then I can play with something more fun for the July session of Camp NaNoWriMo.

I’ll try to keep the updates coming on book two as I move closer to a final draft.  It will feel like a huge accomplishment to finally have the second book out.  Maybe I can aim for a Halloween release if I get good feedback in July and August.

Wish me luck!

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