Father’s Creed – day 280

FCProgress: 117,042 words, Twelve Chapters (All first draft)

I’ve not begun editing just yet, but I have made notes on what I’ll be addressing in my second draft of Father’s Creed. There’s a lot of notes from before I started writing, as well as throughout the first draft and after its completion. Prior to setting up the chopping block and sharpening my ax, I need to go back through all the scribblings and form a game plan.

This second draft will be about larger issues, like character definition and pacing of the story. While I know grammar and spelling corrections will be marked, I’m going to give those more attention on my third full pass.

For now, here is what I want to focus on for this second draft:

Overall concerns:

Character voice, motivation, purpose: Is there consistency, or if they change, can we understand why? Can I identify who is speaking without identifying them; does their dialogue always sound like them?;

Scene purpose and pacing: Does this scene move the story or add to our understanding of the world and characters? Is it too long or too short; does its length disrupt the pacing of the current flow of the novel? Examining this by scene will naturally be a review of the overall pacing as well.

Specific concerns:

A more progressive hardening of Amity as more threatens her on her journey

Earlier character rewrite of Moufette, making him more selfish, chauvinistic, and less trusting.

More evident dependency and loss of self for Charlotte in the end.

Scene reordering for less back and forth between Amity and Nathaniel scenes.

Expand farewell scene with Nathaniel, Amity, and Joseph

Cut new first scene and ‘Mailcall’ scene. Move ‘Charlotte Leaves’ to first scene to begin with drama. Her leaving is the catalyst for Nathaniel’s decline and all events after.

Improve Stickney’s struggle with war against the indigenous attackers. Generally rework the drama of the fort scenes and attempted siege.

Consider change to Trouble in Town scene, possibly bringing Amity into it

Slight alteration to showdown with Nate and Edgar

I don’t think any major slash and burn is required just yet. The foundation is strong and, as long as character motivation isn’t questioned by my beta readers, most of it should stay as it is now. Once I have the rewrite done I’ll come back through for grammar and spelling. After that I’m not sure if I should polish scenes or send out beta copies. I’d hate to have anything too raw out there, but at the same time I’d hate to polish everything only to discover half the book has to be redone.

My start date for this second draft was December 1, but I’m going to wait until my outline for Ghost City is done. The timing may still line up, but I’d like to have that one ready to jump into when I get to a stopping point with Father’s Creed.

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