A New Approach to the 2nd Book, Visions – 6th December 2012

Since writing my last Blog, I can now reveal that the first half of ‘Visions’ is currently undergoing a bit of a rewrite.

I made the decision this weekend after reaching a crisis point – in so much as I could not continue with my edit in the book’s current format! I had long sensed my interest was waning and it was distressing me. The storyline was dragging and I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere very fast. So it was time to try a different tactic.

Funnily enough, as soon as I made this decision I felt as if my passion had been rekindled. First of all, I was agonising over the length of this book and even though I have already chopped it down considerably, I still didn’t feel there was enough to hold people’s interest. I’ve often spoken of a long, lingering build up. In particular there is one especially powerful scene right in the middle of this book, where everything falls into place – but to reach this point was proving to be difficult.

So I’ve decided to start my novel with this scene – by adding a small extract right at the beginning as a prologue. This will leave people wondering whatever could have happened to get us to this scene. Hence, the story will unfold much as before – but through the memories of other characters. I am hoping this is going to give the story whole new twist – something to keep people hooked. It does mean the story will now have a tendency to hop back and forth in time – as opposed to following a linear timeline. But at the same time, I sense the story will become a lot more powerful than in its previous draft – and with a lot less superflous detail.

Oddly enough – one day later, I read a most interesting Blog, from a website I’m subscribed to, titled No Rules, Just WRITE!

Here are some of the snippets of advice I read – which was all the proof I needed to reassure me that my intuition to change my book, was spot on:

“The point is: know what works for you and for this story. No one can tell you the right way to write, but you do need to be open to trying new approaches.”

So, I have already decided to try a new approach!

“My first draft is where I have fun. The first draft is where anything is possible, so try to explore it all, without limitations. For me, the real work comes with the second draft. This is where I take my story and turn it into entertainment.”

Yes, the whole book is written and yes, I had fun. But trying to turn all this into entertainment was the one thing which forced me to make a decision to change it.

“This second draft, I call it my re-visioning draft. If the first draft is about you discovering the story, then this second draft is about connecting your audience to your story.”

So true! It takes the writing of an entire book, to understand your own characters and plot. But it is only when you know your characters, that you can actually start to reveal them in a much truer sense: once your story is written, only you can decide the best way to reveal it – and thus, create it into a masterpiece that I hope people will love.
For more useful advise, subscribe to http://www.norulesjustwrite.com/

All I hope now is that I am well on the way to remodelling what I believe will be a really great story – as well as the one I have always wanted to write.

The serene grounds of Westbourne House - fated location of Visions

The serene grounds of Westbourne House – fated location of Visions


About Helen J. Christmas

I am an English author and have written a series of novels, titled 'Same Face Different Place. Beginnings is a gangland thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. The second Book 'Visions' is a psychological thriller, set in Kent; a mystery that ensnares the owners of an historic, English Country House. Book 3 Pleasures contains suspense, thrills and YA romance, set in a backdrop of organised crime and at the advent of the British rave culture. There are 2 final books in the series, Retribution (Phase One) and Retribution (End Game) where the saga reaches its dramatic conclusion.
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