Author Journal: July Progress – Revamping the Story and Embracing Revisions!

I’m thrilled to add a new Author Journal post to the site! I’m changing things up a bit for this one. Rather than looking at the past week, I will share how July went.

I wanted to avoid feeling overwhelmed by sharing each week, so I decided to wait until I found a good balance between work and personal life before providing any updates on my progress.

I haven’t found the perfect balance yet, but it’s a damn sight better than before I had to step back for a bit. Basically, I get to play a bit of Halo on Xbox halfway through my work day 🎮😄

Discovering New Ideas and Motivation

During my break, I dedicated time to brainstorming and came up with 15k words of notes to transform my Running the Asset into something that shines. One of the central issues I wanted to fix was my antagonist, Trevor’s, motivation. It had always felt lacklustre, and no matter how much noodling I did while writing the draft, I couldn’t improve it.

However, an epiphany struck me—involving multiple pages of notes—and I found a new, emotion-driven motivation that breathed life into my villain’s character. The catch was that I needed to introduce a new character to the story to support this change.

Trimming and Reshaping the Story

To accommodate these developments, I had to make some tough decisions. My novel was already 50K words over the ideal length for the romantic suspense genre. So, I had to let go of Elle’s sister’s subplot and reduce my beloved hit woman, Leigh’s, part. It was challenging, but sometimes, sacrifices are necessary to create a stronger overall narrative.

Embracing the Editing Plan

I previously shared my custom editing guide, and during July, I focused on specific action steps (AS2b to AS5) to blend the new ideas with my first draft. I completed the steps that eliminated obsolete plot lines, introduced new plot points, and organised them into a logical order.

Making Progress with Revisions

The last action step (AS5) involved carefully reviewing each scene to fix any logic, gaps, and linking issues. It was during this step that I realised Leigh no longer belonged in Act Three due to the changed plot. As much as I loved some scenes, I had to cut them to ensure the story remained coherent. I console myself with the fact that she’s the heroine in the second book.

The result of all this butchery is immensely satisfying – a well-structured skeleton of my novel that fills me with pride.

This Week’s Goal

This week, my focus is on Action Step 6, where I’m creating a new outline document for the first two acts that align with a “Mission” plot type. I have some reading to do for this step, but I’m ready to dive in and make even more progress!

Closing Thoughts

Thank you all for joining me on this journey. Writing is a dynamic process, and it sometimes takes making changes and cuts to serve the story’s greater purpose.

Stay awesome, and I’ll see you soon with another update.

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Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

8 thoughts on “Author Journal: July Progress – Revamping the Story and Embracing Revisions!

  1. You are awesome Susan!

    1. Thank you so much, Aletta! You’re awesome, too 💐

  2. bushboy says:

    I reckon once a month up date would be fine or longer if you feel like it 🙂

    1. Thanks for understanding, Brian. You’re a ⭐️

  3. Chris Hall says:

    I am so pleased that you are going in the right direction and taking it slowly. Perfect, Susan 🤗

    1. Thank you, Chris! I feel so much better about my work levels this time around. 🤗

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