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!
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.