It is rare for me to have a first draft that sucks so bad even I can’t figure out what I was planning to do with secondary plots, backstories, and character development. However, every once in a while, I finish a book, put it down for a few weeks, pick it back up and go What the fuck was I thinking?!?
The plot of Mutilated Dreams was there. I went from the SCTU thinking there was a serial killer to the SCTU capturing the theoretical serial killer and I did it in about 70,000 words. However, the end of November and most of December was a little rough with shoulder (re)injuries, illnesses, holidays, and Lola. So, when I picked it up the last week of December, I was expecting to find a novel.
And it was. But it was a shitty novel without character growth and development (except in the area of said serial killer). There are so many subplots going on right now in the Dreams books and yet, not a single one of them made it into Mutilated.
You heard me right, none of it. There was no Patterson, no Eric, no Aislinn trying to get her head screwed on… There was little mention of Alejandro, Nyleena, her mother, Badger the Irritating, or Malachi. It also lacked any Caleb Green, Christian Hunter, and somehow, I completely forgot about Fiona about half way through the book. How could I forget about Fiona? Things are going so well with her right now and she just vanished, liked a kidnap victim.
Not to mention some books ago, I mentioned someone named Apex and Apex was slated to put in his first appearance in Mutilated! Especially since Apex is going to have a book soon (I was planning on Apex being the next book, but I have decided to develop him a little more before making him the headliner… He’s interesting and the more I develop his character, the more I wonder if I, the writer, am secretly hoping that he will get away).
It was time for the Red Pen of Destruction and I wielded it with determination. So far, I have churned out an extra 22,000 words. Of course, I killed many more than that.
But something astounding happened! As I sifted through the rubble that had been Mutilated Dreams, I found a subplot that I hadn’t realized existed. One that had been whittling away in different areas, popping up from time to time, always in passing, but still mentioned often. A hidden gem that my subconscious must have been stewing over while my fingers pounded out words.
Most surprisingly, despite the Red Pen of Destruction coming out, I’m still on schedule. It will go to the editor next week and the beta readers by the end of January. (However, it was a humble reminder that as an author, I can never be too in love with my words… If I am, I end up producing books that could have been so much more)