What is My Process of Editing the Second Book in the Praetorian Rising Series. Take a Peek!

The hardest part about publishing your first book is when you get the question, “So where is the next book. Are you done yet?”

My readers ask me this question more than any other. My response in my head was ‘holy hell. I just finished book 1! I haven’t even begun to edit my second book!!’ Now, I never actually said that because I understand the need and desire to keep a story going. You don’t want to be yanked out of the world. You want to be immersed in the characters and stories until the entirety of the story is complete. Being forced to wait is outright torture, and these days in an instant world, we want it NOW!

Well, unfortunately, this is the struggle of an Indie Author. I don’t have endless days or hours to work on book 2, and I don’t have a publisher to help me promote the work and updates on book 2 as I work on it. It’s just me here, folks.

While I work on this monster of a manuscript (and trust me, it’s a BIG one at the moment), I have found my desire to: speak about what I am doing right now and why, what my process is, and how I’ve gotten to where I am.

Praetorian Rising with my favorite Theo Candle and Camille Blood Bond Medallion.

I won’t lie; being an indie writer is a bit like being an obsessed crazy person; you keep working on the task until it’s perfect, but even when you feel it’s complete, you focus on another aspect of it. In a sense, your obsession continues.

Book 2 started its bones over three years ago when I began to plan out the full series after I realized where my first book was going to go. I outlined the book and organized my ideas of what journey I wanted my character to take. Once I had a solid structure for Praetorian Rising, I took the time to write my first draft of Book 2 during Nananowrimo2018. It was SUCH a good idea to get through a full first draft before I published book 1. I had a solid understanding of the direction I wanted to go, and the overall story I wanted to tell.

Once I published Praetorian Rising, I wanted to get into Book 2 and continue the story. The bulk of Book 2 started to come together just before Christmas 2019, and I knew that it would be an excellent time to get it to my Editor for a solid read through to go over the story and the structure. This process helps me step outside my author’s writing box and see the story from another person’s point of view. I’m always glad I do this even if the editing part can be a bit painful. You have to accept that your writing and your first few drafts are NOT GOLD. They aren’t, they may be an enormous skeleton to a good story, but no one writes a perfect story on the first or second round. This path to writing is normal, and you’re doing JUST FINE if you get a PILE of notes and questions from your Editor on this round.

I won’t lie; being an indie writer is a bit like being an obsessed crazy person; you keep working on the task until it’s perfect, but even when you feel it’s complete, you focus on another aspect of it. In a sense, your obsession continues.

Now, I will admit that in a lot of ways, I had no idea what I was doing when I wrote my first book. I just wrote. And looking back, I do see the flaws in my style or issues with the way I went about things, but I am looking to fix and address those issues moving forward.

Book 2 is a labor of love and persistent focus, it’s a much bigger book in the world, and it’s not as simple as Praetorian Rising. The stakes have grown, the world is swelling with intrigue, and I feel myself needing to organize and build the story in a way that can hold the weight of the next two books in the series. Right now, Book 2 is in the beginning phase, but thanks to quarantine I MIGHT be able to push through the next few phases pretty quickly.

New Orleans – Editing, Writing, and Plotting the paths for my favorite Protagonist

Here is my loose outline of HOW I WRITE A BOOK:

  • OUTLINE the events of the story, keeping in mind the flow of your story arcs and where you want the story to go
    • Outline of events isn’t just a “thing” that happens; it needs to be an emotional reaction to a said event focused on how your protagonist feels. For Example:
    • They get into a fight. Camille Feels – XYZ and Theo Feels – ABC
  • Formulating the scenes, and the underlying emotional status of your characters, specifically your protagonist, will enable you to understand the flow of your overall arc as well as the flow of your character’s growth.
  • Write your first draft!
    • I commend those that can pants efficiently (pantsing is where you fly by the seat of your pants and write from start to finish and let the juices of creativity flow). I can’t do this, I need a plan and a map to understand where my characters are heading. After I outline, I organize the scenes to understand the emotional levels of my characters. Without knowing what they are thinking, feeling, and how they would react, I can’t write an efficient scene.
  • Write Draft Two…but first, take a break. You need a mental breather.
    • This is where writing draft 1 during nanowrimo2018 and then starting in on draft 2 after I published book 1 in July 2019 was so smart for me to do. I took a step away and gave myself the time to work through the issues I found during nanowrimo.
  • Edit, Edit, Edit!
    • I tend to go through start to finish when I am editing. I need to understand the story chapter at a time, and conversation to conversation.
  • When I’m editing, I write down scenes that pop in my head that I want to remember. I don’t go out of order when I edit because I am trying to understand the structure of the story as a reader would take it in. This can be hard to do when you have pockets of time and not a full chunk of time to edit.
    • I’m not kidding; when I’m editing, I tend to read more. It’s like I need the overall stimulation of story and inspiration. I also tend to angle my reading toward what style of book or emotion I am writing so I tend to read several books at once to get my brain in the right space.
  • READ your own book before you get to the next step
    • After I run through my first edit, I read the book. I do this to ensure I understand each line, and there isn’t anything in the story that is unnecessary. This is where you can remove the fancy purple prose as much as possible before your editor gets her hands on it 😉
  • Time to Get your Baby to the Editor. Now…we wait….

Right now, I have my first Editor pass draft under my eyeballs daily, and I am working toward the next round of my Read, Write, Edit process. This process always takes the longest. I’m not just writing and editing, but also immersing myself into the story to ensure I get the right mood across and that I can hit all the “wow, that’s so cool” moments in the storyline that I have been deviously planning all along. This is where I am currently with book 2. I’ll be here for quite a while, my friends!

My plan is to (fingers crossed) get through this round of edits and updates by November to pass it back to my Editor for the deep dive edit, but time will tell if I can work through this one at that time. It seems possible, it’s only May, but at the same time, November seems incredibly close when I think about it.

So if you are curious and find yourself asking: “Where is Book 2 of the Praetorian Rising Series?!” Just know that I am in the thick of it now. I might be a little absent from social media as much as I usually am. What I DO want to do is keep you updated on what I am doing and how I go about it. One of the things I wish I had at the beginning was a guide, and now that I feel I have a good flow of the process, I want to share it with anyone else needing a guide.

If you are writing your story right now, or if you just started writing, my BIGGEST recommendation is to get the book Story Genius by Lisa Cron. I SWEAR by this book, and it’s teachings on how to go about writing a book. It will help you create something people WANT to read. I will go deeper into my experience with this book and what I’ve learned from it in another post. For now as a writer, do yourself a favor and BUY THIS BOOK! Then, start writing! Your readers are waiting for you 😉

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