I finished the first draft of the next in the Hauberk series a few days ago. This one is Troy’s and Sandy’s story (you haven’t met Troy yet–he’s mentioned in Personal Protection but doesn’t get a speaking part until Deliberate Deceptions.) A big part of the story is Scott — who you did meet in Personal Protection. Yes, Scott does get it on with Troy and Sandy. I wasn’t sure whether he was going to stay with them or not until I was three quarters the way through the first draft and Scott decided the matter for me.
When I typed “The End” I was quite happy with how the story had turned out. Oh, sure, I have a ton of notes that I’ve left for myself that I had to go back and change, scenes to be added, places that need to be smoothed out/shortened/extended. That’s usual for my first draft. But the bones of the story is in place. I know who my characters are, what they think they want and what they actually need. It’s all good.
I usually let a first draft sit on the proverbial shelf for a week before I start to edit it. This gives me time to cogitate a bit more now I finally know all the facets of the characters and the plots. To make additional notes about possible plot problems or ways to deepen a character or how to show something better than I did in the first draft.
It also gives me time to deal with the usual ‘second guessing’ phase that occurs after each book.
Part of my second-guessing this time around is the buzz I’m hearing from various sources that menages aren’t selling well these days, that people are getting tired of that sub-genre. It’s enough that I’m wondering whether I need to rip my story apart and take that element out. Which means a total rewrite. Because it would also change Sandy’s character–her motivation etc. and by extension, Troy’s reactions.
This is where I have to ask myself do I write with an eye on what might sell better or do I tell the story the way I see it playing out? I know which decision I’ll probably make (telling the story I want to tell) but I still have those doubts…