A book update and my latest colored pencil project!
With three out of four beta readers having read my introduction, I felt confident in a change that needed to take place in the introduction of my novel. Originally, I had written a prologue, but I’ve read that agents aren’t a big fan. Truth be told, I wasn’t a big fan of it anymore either!
The short two page prologue set the scene, but it was more “telling” than I feel comfortable with. In addition the main character felt too young in the first few pages of chapter one. Lastly, I asked myself if these were the first few pages I wanted an agent to read when I query? (The answer was no.)
I’ve been thinking about ways to combine the two problem areas so that the reader learns all of the key prologue information naturally through the main character’s experiences in the first few pages of the book.
I’d written out an initial conversation idea, but I didn’t love it.
Then, under the pressure and stress of looming school deadlines, inspiration stuck! I swear this always happens to me. The final weeks of school typically result in either a new drawing, book chapter, or both.
I wrote about what writing means to me, so if you’ve read it you’ll know that writing is a major release for me. Any high level of stress, pain, happiness, you name it, and I start channeling it into writing or art.
So last night around 1 a.m. the scene became clear. Well what’s a girl to do but write it all down?!
Did it hurt to chop the very prologue that had once helped me set the tone for the book? Yeah, a bit. Do I regret it? Heck no!!! I LOVE the new beginning. It feels so much stronger and true to the characters and story.
These are by far my favorite edits. Everything clicks into place and you can see the story clearly in a way you couldn’t before. The words flow and you know they are the ones you were searching for the whole time.
The last of the beta reader feedback is rolling in and I’ve got two potential changes that I’m mentally playing around with until then. I’ve mentioned one before in a post about the origins of my characters. One of my characters is a bit too unlikable.
They are a terribly conflicted character who means well, but tends to screw up. The balance between feeling for a character like that and hating them is a hard one to strike. I’ve definitely missed the mark a bit and need to work on building their story better.
I’m hoping that edit will go as smooth as this one, but so far I’m a bit more stumped! I think I’ll have to do another thorough read through before tackling it.
The plan is still to query this summer after another round of beta readers! I’ll keep you all updated along the way. Thank you for the continued support!!!
On an art related note…
As mentioned, stress makes my creative juices flow. I don’t sleep well when stressed, so staying up late to draw or write really helps more than hurts. This is what set the scene for me attempting the feather demonstration/tutorial from Kathie Miller! (Check it out here!).
Kathie gives great step-by-step photos and even provides color suggestions (I went with a slightly different color scheme due to missing colors she recommended and because I’m interested in drawing a different type of bird with a warmer color scheme of feathers). I’ve been working on feathers for a bit now and have found them to be tricky. Following Kathie’s steps has definitely produced the best results yet!
Kathie’s feathers are still much better than mine and what I came to realize towards the end is that a sharp pencil matters. Mine got a bit muddied because I couldn’t keep my pencils sharp (crap sharpener) and because I’m still learning how to layer colored pencils. I’ve purchased a new sharpener and am thinking I’ll put Kathie’s technique to work on a drawing of my own design!
Thank you Kathie for doing such a detailed demo! It really helped! If you are working on feathers or fur, then I highly recommend checking Kathie’s blog out!!!