“I got me a PLAN!“
Closer Than Family has been taking longer to write than Tamed Hearts did (although I feel a lot better about this title than I did about Tamed Hearts’ original title), partly due to a pause where I spent a while getting Tamed Hearts ready to actually go out the door. As some of you know, the last several chapters of Tamed Hearts got extracted in early editing. That writing initially formed the spine of the plot for the second book. I thought this was terribly clever of me. However, like many stories, the continuation of Aaron, Cassie, and Becky’s adventures has changed in the telling, so while having a big chunk of the writing done ahead of time has been helpful in some ways, in others, it’s been more of an obstacle.
Frankly, my manuscript for the last two or three weeks has been a confusing mess. Over the last couple of nights, I’ve had enough free time to re-do my outline (for about the fourth time) in line with the current state of the manuscript and how I plan to wrap the story up. That done, I managed to determine exactly what I still need to do, and enumerated each item in a numbered list. It’s not a pretty list, honestly. But at least I know what needs to be done. I may still not have a finished manuscript by the end of the year as I hoped. I might, though! And if I don’t, I will still have a plan in place, so I’m sure I’ll have a rough first draft sometime in January.
To summarize, I have roughly five new chapters to write, and quite a bit of re-arranging of material that’s already written (some that has been intended to go into this book from the beginning, some of which are exiles from the first draft of Tamed Hearts). I’m also not sold on how necessary certain chapters with a new character are, so we might lose some material at some point. But hey, that’s what editing is for, amirite?
At this point, I expect Closer Than Family to weigh in at roughly the same length as Tamed Hearts–in the neighborhood of 75,000 words. Book Three might be a different beast, but we’ll deal with that once Closer Than Family is actually ready to go to the printer.