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Book Two/Act Two: Too Much Pressure

My urban fantasy dreams take a back seat as I try to reinvent my writing career. To do it, I created a pen name to separate it from the series.

I wrote the first draft and proceeded to edit, edit and edit it. Two beta readers couldn't put it down.

I was on to something and took on book two and book three. But book three wasn't working and the change needed to come in book two.

It was supposed to be a simple fix. Nothing is ever that simple. In between drafts, I started writing with a partner, a totally different genre and characters and stories. I learned the joy of a well-written outline. And that's exactly where the problems started. Never, ever try to outline a book you've already written. It will only turn out badly.

Book two has been totally whooping my butt.

I've had this problem before. Book two in the greater scheme of a series is so important. While in book one you're introduced to the characters and their lives and whatever plot you chose for the story, book two is something more. It needs to bridge book one and the introduction to the rest of the series. It's the setup for what comes next.

Book two is always so much pressure for me. I just want to get this right. It reminds me of the artists who win Best New Artist at the Grammys. Their sophomore album, may not live up to the hype.

The problem started when I rewrote draft 7, pretending I'm good at outlining and could make a pretty good book better.

I'm stuck in the weeds and I've started again. It's a good story. I added a third suspect. I've kept the good stuff. I'm learning.

What I've come to realize is, I'm a pantser, not a plotter. I work so much better when I remember that.

So here's to draft 11. May it finally work itself out.

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