Progress: 3,774 words, One Chapter (First draft)
For those paying attention at home, my word count has been notably reduced. That’s because I did what you’re not supposed to do: I started over.
I started writing Ghost City before I really understood what I was creating. I thought that would be okay, making slight alterations to people and environment as my characters navigated the world in which they lived. Only, these characters are a reflection and extension of their world. They must be well-defined on their own and play well together, and neither the world nor its inhabitants had sure footing.
Both the characters I wrote and the very planet beneath them were malformed, unproven, and worst of all, incohesive. When I reached chapter three of my first draft, I realized I was at a crossroads. Despite the confusion and erratic world-building, I could either push ahead and correct inconsistencies in the second draft, or step back, re-evaluate, and begin again.
Choosing to go back to the start was difficult. I felt defeated. I felt my time was wasted, and I felt that perhaps the very concept was idiotic and undeserving of effort. As I wallowed, I asked myself questions. What happened years before that would cause such fundamental changes to their lives? Who would they be because of it? What would alter their views of death, economy, realtionships, technology, and connectedness with those outside their ‘bubble’?
Let me say this, the answers I found were significant. Not only did I completely alter major plot points, but the characters changed. Their motivations changed. Their fears and hopes and willingness to embrace their world changed, and hopefully all the alterations add up to a better story, one which can be sincerely believed by those on the pages and by those turning them.
In a way, the initial first draft was a way of seeing what worked and what didn’t. It allowed me to discover the very questions I needed to ask. I didn’t like being disheartened, but the crossroads and the backtracking served a purpose. My doubts have faded. The hazy lines have solidified. The story can be told with confidence.
I look forward to getting deeper into Ghost City. As an eventual reader, I hope you will too.
Thank you so much for reading. Please follow, subscribe, and comment. Happy writing, everyone!