Over think your novel between drafts

During this Sydney lockdown, something has occurred to me.

Over thinking is best done between drafts!

I’m writing this on July 21, 2021, and as I’m here at home with my husband, my works in progress have taken a back seat. Usually, I’d be working on the next draft of a manuscript while another is in ‘lockdown’ for a few months before I revisit it. During this break, I usually come up with random ideas to improve the manuscript I’m not working on.

But as my two WiPs have been put aside, I’m finding solutions for both.

At the start of the book set in the 90s, we find out that a married couple have seperated. They’ve been together for over a year, but the reasons I gave them to split don’t make sense when they’ve been together this long.

In this original text, Mae and Ken have been married for a while. This needs to be amended.

A contemporary lesbian romance I’ve been reading gave me a solution to this problem. The relationship in my book needs to be a whirlwind romance. They get married within six months. It gives me better emotional avenues to explore while making the break-up more believable.

The aspects of 90s dance culture at the heart of this novel are already strong in the first draft, so I can spend time developing the intricacies of this relationship, and two others, in the story. And thinking in terms of contemporary romance will be the best approach for this task, even if it isn’t the main genre of this work.

As for my other book, I’m thinking anime.

The first half of my dystopian sequel, Virtual Insanity, needs stronger character development, and I’ve come up with a unique solution.

From the stronger second half of this early draft.

Before I write a book I find images of my characters, give them a catchphrase (which isn’t used in the story), and have a list of other precise notes about who they’ve loved, their education and general intelligence, and oddly, what turns them on.

For this second draft, I’m going to tweak these notes using images of them as anime cartoon characters.

I know this might make them two dimensional.

But it will also give them stronger traits and might even encourage them to do bold things. When I go back for the third draft, I’ll use the original images and notes to give them depth again.

Now, I just need this lockdown to be over so I can write.


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