It’s been a while since the last update on my current work in progress, principally because it’s been slow going (in more ways than one) these past three weeks or so, resulting in no noteworthy progress to report. However, it’s probably now worth mentioning a very significant development with my WIP (the sequel to The Exercise Of Vital Powers) that occurred at the end of last week which has had a drastic impact upon the direction and progression of the story.
The problem that arose (if it can be called that) highlights both an advantage and a disadvantage of my decision to no longer straitjacket myself by following a rigid, excessively detailed outline when writing a novel length story. As I mentioned in a previous post, commencing a story knowing only how it begins, how it should end, and what needs to happen in between to connect those two points allows me to be flexible in reacting to unexpected developments in my narrative that require me to adapt or change direction. And, as it happens, last Friday I finally identified the source of the difficulties I was experiencing with my WIP that required such action: the first chapter needed a major overhaul. Not to put too fine a point on it, all the things wrong with what I had written up to the end of last week stemmed from how poorly the story began (in its then present form).
Now, you might assume that I would be very annoyed by the realisation I would need to completely re-write my opening chapter, and then significantly tweak every subsequent chapter I have written so far. Well, prior to 2016 you would have been correct; I would have abandoned the story altogether and began work on something else. But the truth is, while it is a far from ideal situation to find yourself in, I knew immediately that a re-write was in the best interest of the story, guaranteeing that the inconvenience would ultimately be worth it in the end. And I can say in all honestly that having re-written chapter one over the weekend, the effort has dramatically improved my feelings towards the story, and revitalised my enthusiasm for continuing to write it. Be assured that all the changes I have made will definitely result in a stronger, more rewarding read for all you readers in the not too distant future.
So what was wrong with how my WIP had been progressing that I felt compelled to re-write it from the beginning? Well, where should I begin? For a start, there was altogether far too much useless exposition early on. It was also tediously slow and ponderous, completely lacking in momentum and urgency; not to mention the high stakes at the heart of the central plot still hadn’t been established over half a dozen chapters into the story. But worse than all of that, my WIP’s greatest sin was that it was boring (and when I’m bored by my own storytelling, something is seriously wrong). In other words the story was everything its fast moving precursor, The Exercise Of Vital Powers, isn’t. But fear not, the changes I have made has ensured that this sequel will hit the ground running in much the same way as its predecessor, and maintain that momentum right through to the story’s climax.
That wraps up another update. I’m now much happier with the state of my WIP though it is still months away from being completed. So, those of you who have not yet had the chance to read The Exercise Of Vital Powers you still have plenty of time to find out what you’ve been missing out on before the sequel sees the light of day. Now what are you waiting for? I have kindly provided purchase links below for your convenience.
Thanks for reading,