I’m 64K into my story, and several major plot points have bothered me – it seemed flat, unoriginal. I like my characters, although it took me until just the other day to figure out my heroine’s motivation. But the main premise of the story seemed unoriginal, done to death. But I plugged on knowing that ‘something’ would come to me. After watching discussions on several of the regency groups I belong to where others complained of the same things in stories they’d read — unoriginality, repetitiveness in the plots — I knew I had to tighten/enhance the plot of my story before I went much farther.

So in the strange way my brain works, I had another epiphany while I was in the kitchen heating up a cup of tea that had gone cold while I was playing solitaire. (Weird how I always seem to be in the kitchen when I have my ideas.) I know how to adjust the story so I can make it a better story, less formulaic.

But damn it, it means a massive rewrite of the first section. AND it changes the heroine’s motivation so the epiphany I had the other day will have to be changed, though the scene I wrote can stay. But it’s ok because almost everything from the first few chapters on will still work, with a few tweaks from there on in.

So I have to remind myself to breathe deeply and invoke Candy Haven’s advice: “It’s just the first draft, it’s ok for it to be crappy.” I don’t like the last part of that saying. I think I’ll change it to “it’s just the first draft — you can make it better, faster, stronger!” Hmm, I think I’m channelling the bionic man, LOL.

Part Deux to the Saga

It’s now nearly 11 p.m. I’ve scrapped the entire first chapter, but I’ve written another that’s turned out quite well, if I do say so myself. I think it follows Molly O’Keefe’s speech about making sure the first few pages leave the reader asking questions that they want answered.

I’ve moved on to Chapter two where Nathaniel meets Amelia, in the same way he did before, but I’ve added her mother who I’d killed off in the previous version. And I think it works much better in providing conflict – much better than her Uncle Silas did. Aunt Agnes has become her grandmother who will still be the voice of reason especially since she’s Mummy dearest’s MIL.

Oh, I still have quite a few changes to make in Chapter 2, but from there it shouldn’t be as drastic. Except for the scene where he and Charlie get drunk — which I will keep but will need to make some changes to their discussion. And the conversation N&A have that lead to their first misunderstanding. And that other scene … ok, I’ll quit now while I’m feeling good about today’s work. I’ll still get to keep the duel, and N&A’s makeout session that I wrote the other day — in which Mummy Dearest will feature as the heavy, not Uncle Silas.

I still have some big decisions to make:

  1. Do I kill Algie off at the end (yup, he’s living all of a sudden), considering he’s going to turn out to be a bad guy? Because if he lives, then I have to decide a punishment for him. Readers would not like him to get off scot-free but there’s not much N would be able to do, short of take his cousin to court where the title would be stripped from him and possibly handed back to the crown. Which N would not like at all, considering how much respect he had for the 5th Duke, um, I mean Earl. I downgraded him.
  2. And do I make Nathaniel the heir to the title as I’d originally had it? Or do I make him the second eldest son and make Benjamin the eldest and heir presumptive? Which would add some conflict because Amelia’s mother will be dead set against her daughter marrying a ‘mister’ as opposed to a ‘Lord.”

So despite all the massive editing, I’m still at 64,500+ words! Yippee.On the whole, I’m very pleased with my changes! But please — let me have no more drastic plot-changing epiphanies for a while!

It’s just the first draft, she mutters to herself
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