Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flying Phoenixes Flutter and Flounder

I’m late. I’m sorry. Moving on... *grins*

Last month I mentioned I was working on reading though my Videra Phoenixes. When I started, I was worried because reading and taking notes on Book 1 was arduous. But once I was past that relic, the reading speed up (as note taking slowed down). Yes, this once trilogy clearly shows that with practice, even sans reading craft books, my writing has improved.  
Now that I’ve gotten through all 890 or so pages, I’m transcribing my notes into word so I can put them all in their proper categories (I color coded them as I took them) to figure out how to turn this massive story into books, that maybe, people might like to read.
Yes, the characters started commenting after a certain point...
One of the first things I’ve figured out is that there are really about five books in what I originally wrote as a Trilogy:
  • Book 1: Sarah’s Phoenix, needs the most work (written in 2005, edited in 2009, yup a relic)
  • Book 2: Phoenix Rising, more a romantic interlude than anything and I find its plot puzzling
  • Book 3: Phoenix Burning (was second half of Phoenix Rising), the plot definitely works
  • Book 4: Phoenix Triumphant, again a good solid plot
  • Book 5: Phoenix United (was third, third of Phoenix Triumphant), seems to be mostly romance with a euphoric ending (well it gave me a permasmile)

Now, I’m going through the joy of figuring out where Book 1 ends and Book 2 begins, because I’ve decided that I’m rewriting Book 1 for April’s Camp NaNoWriMo (my goal is at least 25,000 words to keep the stress and lack of sleep minimal). But how do I revamp the plot of Sarah’s Phoenix without having to rewrite everything?

It’s tough. When I was first reading it, I had a brilliant idea, which slowly got squished as I read the other books realizing just how important the set up in Book 1 and 2 were. So I’m trying my hand at plotting, but I’m not going to do it chapter by chapter. Unearthing Magic taught me that that method doesn’t quite work for me. Instead I’m trying a five point plot – Intro, Call to Action, Midpoint, Climax and Resolution.

Not working so well. At least it’s not feeling like it is. I could be over complicating the issue. I’m really good at that. But the plot is pretty complex, because you’ve got the political backdrop to the romance, acting as the main obstacle keeping Sarah and Hasón from their ‘Happily Ever After’. My little private Facebook group (spawned from NaNo, how I love thee) has recommended I diagram each plot so I can see where how they merge.

Do I tackle the whole Book 1 through 5 plot, or do I do it book by book? And how many plots do I have... I know my two main ones, but what about the characters? Are their character arcs another plot... Or am I, as I said, making this way more complex than it needs to be? *HELP*

I also just realized I’m turning... 36 (phew I thought it was 37, opps *grins*) in April, and I would like to have my first book published by 40. That means I only have four more years, and I figure at least the last two ought to be for the query process *gulp*

Better get to work, hadn’t I? I also better figure out what book I’d like to query first, because strangely, I’m wondering if it shouldn’t be Unearthing Magic as opposed to Sarah’s Phoenix. What do you think? How should I choose?


:} Cathryn Leigh