I’m nearing the end of rewriting Enchanting Elodie. Plot-wise, we are in the midst of the crisis or major setback and approaching the climax or final push. It feels a bit like rounding the bend in a marathon and knowing the finish line is over the hill. I can’t see it, but I know it’s there.
This is where things can get sticky.
I’ve never been much of a runner, but nearing the end of something brings about conflicting emotions in me. I’m exhausted, I want to quit, but I know if I keep going I will have the satisfaction of completion. And sometimes there is a final burst of energy when I can push myself a little bit harder.
So I’m going to set myself a deadline of finishing the second draft of this manuscript at the end of this week. This is not going to be a long drawn-out last leg. I’m sick of almost-but-not-quite being done. I probably only have about ten more scenes to write, so if I can do at least one a day, I should be done in a little over a week. Totally do-able.
I totally agree with the theory of writing drafts quickly before the spark winks out. With Enchanting Elodie, I’ve managed to sustain this spark for close to two years. I was well on my way with the first draft when I went on a 2-week overseas holiday, which threw my writing mojo completely. But when I got home I made myself sit down at my desk and I started again. I’m glad I did because the story took on a life of its own. Similarly, when I finished the first draft I was tempted to let it languish and start on a new project. There seemed to be so many problems and issues I didn’t know how to fix. I faced a tough decision: run the race again, or start training for a new one?
Maybe it’s all about perserverance, or resilience, or maybe just commitment, but after going through the process once, I knew what to expect. And I had material to work with. It was like a do-over: this time, I got to tell the story I meant to write. The kinks naturally worked themselves out when the story started to go in different directions, and characters began to act more like themselves and make better decisions that all made the story smoother.
I know I will finish this book, and I know that when I do I will have a finished (albeit unedited) piece of work that I am proud of. I just need to give myself that final push.
I’m in the middle of rewriting the first draft of the Cloud Sisters book one, Enchanting Elodie. The experience of writing this book has been the most fun I’ve had writing in a long time. Writing romance is saucy, exciting, fun and above all, really satisfying! I really enjoy the process of “helping” two characters meet and fall in love, and it’s wonderful to see it unfold.
Armed with a loose outline (which I will cover in another post), the story flowed easily as the characters took over. I’ve since learned that they do this even more in the rewriting phase, when the story you meant to tell comes to life.
I’ve finished plenty of first drafts, but have never been committed enough to get through the hard slog of rewriting. I am so glad I did. I’m rediscovering the story all over again. And it’s taught me a few things:
- That it’s true most of writing is rewriting
- That the first draft will contain some gems but will mostly be a lot of crap, but that’s ok because the story and the threads are there
- That rewriting feels awesome!! It’s so amazing to see goodness rise from the ashes, and to see the story you meant to tell come to life
- Rewritten scenes will be so much cooler and true to the story – so many “gotcha” moments when you finally pin it down
- It’s exciting to see what the characters come up with next, even more so than the first draft
- It all happens so quickly, I’m flying through the scenes and it’s even better to know that this will be the final copy
- Rewriting also lets you slow down and pick through the scene, fleshing it out like never before
- The delete key becomes your friend – you’ll be happy to say bye bye to stuff you knew wasn’t right in the first place
- You fall in love with your characters all over again – they are even more alive to you and you can paint them with description
- You will be amazed what fits where and how you wrote the right thing, just not in the right spot
- When you have the bones, you have the strength to finish it
I’m currently writing a romantic trilogy centered around a trio of sisters in a country music band. The McAllister sisters (who go by the title The Cloud Sisters) are an undiscovered act who hail from the fictional small country town of Wattle Hill in my home state of New South Wales, Australia.
Each book is told from the POV of a different sister (and the hero) and follows their journey from being an unsigned act to finding success and love, and is set in both Australia and Nashville.
The idea emerged two years ago from my months-long boxset binge on the TV show Nashville. I’d always loved a bit of country music but after falling in love with the show, I became a dedicated fan of both the music and the scene.
In January this year I even travelled to Tamworth for the annual country music festival, the most iconic event of its kind in Australia. I wanted to write a fictional series like Nashville about the Australian country music industry, and going to Tamworth gave me a lot of insight and inspiration, not to mention exposure to some pretty talented Aussie bands and artists.
My inspiration for the all-girl sister band came from our very own McClymonts, who have a stack of successful albums and are well-known in this country.
Also, being the middle of three sisters has given me a wealth of material to work with! The fun, the love, the fights (eek!). The characters of Elodie, Scarlett and Amber are entirely fictional though (promise, sissies…).
Each of the sisters have their own talents and unique personalities, and even though they’re travelling the same way, their paths to fame and love are very different. I can’t wait to tell their stories!