The first draft of my latest work in progress, A Ghastly Gillion Stars, is coming to a close. I have one final chapter to hammer out, then I can feel good about calling this draft done did up.
There’s room for improvement on this one. I started out without a real map in place in my mind. Sort of winged it. But now that I have this first go-through out on paper (so to speak) I know where I need to dial things up, add a chapter or two, and broaden the cast of characters.
I’m thinking big here. Big and bigger and biggerer. I see now how I can make the central conflict hit at a personal level between the two adversaries, and also at a societal level. I want to ratchet things up, make the stakes huge. So large that the society that loses this battle will have a whole lot of troubles in their future. I figure this will be my final story set in my Ux-Blood universe, so I might as well go for broke. I mean, I didn’t even mention witchblood, or what the ux was, or how it shouldn’t be the Witches Guild here, but its predecessor. And the predecessor of the League of Cells is around, too. I made the opening setting a monastery, but I think I will change that. Have to go back and re-read parts of Earth Cell where I explained some of the early Witches Guild and the League of Cells. I decided now those are going to be creations of the three overworlds after the Pheelm Chaos hits, and in this story I plan to reveal what happens to the Pheelm society that leads up to the Pheelm Chaos.
Also going to add a lot more description of the two primary species. A lot of reviewers who’ve gone through this first draft have made remarks about that lack of description. I know how I can slip it in, too, right in the opening paragraphs of the opening chapter. Should be an easy fix, really. Just have to get what the Pheelm look like squared away in my mind. (See? I told you I didn’t go into this one with things a bit more thought out!) Then I think I’ll be good to go, with this first draft as a pretty solid template on what I want to do.
I recently read a book by a successful literary agent about how to write the breakout novel. I read a whole slew of how-to-write books way back when, a couple of decades ago at least. Reading this new book reminded me of a lot of things I forgot over the years. Boo! But with all that fresh in my mind, I can see now how to punch things up for A Ghastly Gillion Stars. And this will be great practice for my next novel-length manuscript, Dew Drops. Originally I planned to save Dew Drops for January, but after reading that how-to book, I have ideas about that story that just won’t be quiet. I’m pretty sure that’s my mind telling me to get cracking on that novel. So, I’ll put aside the few shorter works I had planned (most of them novella length, truth be told) and throw myself into my next large project as soon as my current WIP is complete.
It’ll be a few more weeks yet with A Ghastly Gillion Stars. I may tinker with the cover idea I have in mind before diving into the revision. Let the finished first draft percolate a bit more in my mental juices. And given how much I can make this story better, I’m looking forward to getting started. I’ll keep you posted!