Ghost City – day 19

GhostCityProgress: 10,013 words, One Chapter (First draft)

I’ve pantsed myself. So eager to get into this next book and away from Father’s Creed, I just started writing without a real plan. Unshockingly, I’ve fizzled with uncertainty of just where the hell the story is going.

It’s time to step back and let the story play out in my mind. I’ll be spending this week outlining scenes so that when I return to writing I have a clearer picture of my breadcrumb trail to the end.

The lack of plan isn’t the only problem though. I have been waffling on what writing style I’m going with, playing with internal dialogue that now seems very forced, and too geared for a younger audience. Additionally, I have far too many text heavy paragraphs explaining tech or the history of certain people or the company my protagonist works for. I can already tell they are barriers to smooth reading, taking the reader away from the story.

I don’t want to fall into the trap of editing, so I’m going to move forward after my outline is complete, using the knowledge of the story’s existing flaws to prevent further impediments. I want the world to build itself around the story, whereby existing with the character on their journey, the reader can make sense of the environment and the tech without being spoon-fed the details.

If I find the lack of knowledge early on for anything is just too confusing, I’ve derived a means to solve it through a city tour group. They can go through the history of the city and the company as they take tourists around Detroit. For the tech, the main character works with engineers who could explain old tech through new developments. It’s still at risk for being obvious insertion of needed facts, but it works better than just a paragraph that reads more like a history lesson.

I’m very aware that November will wrap up soon and I will begin my second draft of Father’s Creed. I fear I have naively assumed that I can successfully edit one project while writing another. If the two projects shear my brain, both will suffer. That would mean committing to one over another. Obviously I’d rather be closer to having a completed manuscript, but I don’t want to walk away from Ghost City yet. The one month distance from Father’s Creed is of my own doing, so I could easily extend that until a first draft of Ghost City is complete.

That’s a lot to think about, and my lack of experience here won’t help. What do you think, readers? Should I finish a first draft of Ghost City, having a 7 month break between drafts of my first novel, or should I take several months away from my second novel to get a second draft polished for beta readers of my first novel? Do you think it would be too much to do both simultaneously? What has been your experience with working on two projects at once?

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