And Thus the Re-Writing Commences!

As you may recall from my previous post, I recently got my manuscript for Chasing Nonconformity (sequel to Imminent Danger) back from my beta readers. Huzzah!

Now come the re-writes.

I’m not going to lie — I’m having a lot of trouble with Chasing Nonconformity. Sequels are really hard, and I’ve been struggling with making sure this book has as much “oomph” as the first book. It’s a delicate balancing act — bringing enough elements from the first book to keep the feel of the world and characters the same, while at the same time introducing enough new elements to keep the story and characters changing and evolving.

My first draft, waaaaaay back in 2010, was a lot of fun to write, but there was a distinct lack of plot. The characters mostly just wandered around and did amusing things — as I said, enjoyable to write (and probably to read), but not exactly a “story”. My second draft, which I finished back in the spring of 2013, was much better — the characters actually had motivation for doing stuff! But the stakes still weren’t high enough, which once again made it feel like the characters were just milling about.

Then, a couple of weeks ago — and all credit goes to my brilliant brother Jesse — the solution to my “lack of stakes” problem arrived. I can’t tell you what it is, obviously, but it is both awesome and incredibly amusing (well, amusing to me, at least!), and it has the added bonus of wrapping up a few loose ends from the first book. Woo!

That’s pretty much how my brain works. First I write the story … then I go back and figure out how to make it make sense. Not the most streamlined of processes, but … well, for whatever reason it seems to work for me!

So, for everyone keeping track of my writing progress, Chasing Nonconformity is slowly but surely getting done. Assuming all goes well, this should be the last major re-write. I figure that’ll take me a month or two. So going into December the story should be ready to go out to another round of beta readers … give them two months to read it, since my beta readers are notoriously slow … putting us at the start of February …

Therefore I’m going to tentatively put the release for Chasing Nonconformity somewhere around the Spring 2014 area. I was initially aiming for January, but that’s just not going to happen now. Onwards and upwards, my friends! To victory!


Unrelated link of the day:

Are you a 90s kid? Prepare to be blown away by nostalgia:


Semi-related image of the day:

Categories: My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “And Thus the Re-Writing Commences!

  1. I’m excited to see what these major stakes are. 🙂

    I’m kind of in the same boat as far as release dates. I was hoping for Christmas, but now I’m thinking that my birthday would be a lovely time to aim for…

  2. So exciting, Michelle! And isn’t it just the BEST feeling when everything finally comes together?

    I love your Image of the Day–so true!

    • It is! Of course, now I need to actually put my ideas on paper, lol. Imminent Danger took me 7 years to finish, but Chasing Nonconformity, even though it’s only been 3 years thus far, seems infinitely harder. Ack!

  3. Let me start with–I’m ALL in favor of grammar-tests to get into the internet. xD
    SECOND, yay! 🙂 Sounds like you’re making some real progress! I miss having someone, like you have your brother, who knows enough about these things to talk with and get good ideas from. </3 My old roommate was really good for that, but she was the one I had a falling-out with, sooooo… It was a bummer losing that. But it seems to be working for you, and I can't wait to see what CN comes to! ^^

  4. Excellent news about the sequel! Can’t wait to read it.
    Loved that Grammar Captcha. Brilliant! Zuckerburg would hate it, though. He’d be out there campaigning for its banning. 😉

  5. Good luck with the rewrite. I just submitted my manuscript to my beta readers and I can’t wait to hear back from them. The wait is driving me crazy and I have no patience. 🙂

    • Waiting is the worst! Well, hopefully they don’t take as long as my beta readers did, lol. Have you set them a deadline? In my experience, deadlines don’t actually make them read faster, but they do help guilt the readers into at least STARTING to read the manuscript. 🙂

  6. While I was querying my second, ultimately unpublished, manuscript, I decided to start working on a sequel. It was tough. I resolved all the major conflicts in the previous story and hooked everyone up, so all the tension and threat had to be external. None of the characters had personal sub-conflicts, which rendered it flat. My problem was solved when I couldn’t find an agent for the original. So now those characters live happily ever after in a box under my bed.

    • Um, I have the perfect solution to your lack-of-personal-conflicts problem! Have one of the characters get hit in the head and lose all their memories. Classic soap opera plotline 😀

  7. CL Mannarino

    I’m glad I found your blog. I have similar troubles with re-writing. It can be such a nightmare sometimes. Good thing you’ve established a deadline! 🙂

    • Ah, a fellow re-writer! Nightmarish is an excellent way to describe it. First, it’s a nightmare to figure out exactly WHAT you’re going to re-write. And then you have to actually DO the re-writing, which is a nightmare all its own 🙂

  8. Good luck with the re-writes. I like a first draft as a nice template to get me started. The re-writes are where the real action takes place so happy editing 🙂

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