Hello my lovelies!
I had a crazy summer, and the release of Laevatein’s Choice was amazing! I had multiple book signings, and a wild headache trying to deal with Amazon’s KDP, but such is life, LC is out in the world and it’s time to get on book three. Halo’s Rag Doll!
I had most of my outline for HRD done long before LC came out, and of course the first draft of the book was written when I was 15 so there’s a lot of rewrites to get done. I did a little writing in the midst of editing LC, and I dove in right after LC came out but I hit 62k and got a bit frustrated.
Basically, the plot I had written before makes very little sense and with the changes I had already made it still didn’t make any sense. I went to my Critique partner for her opinion and she basically gave me the “Dude, are you ready for this rant, because you’ve never actually listened to my criticism of this book until now.” HRD has always been my favorite. I loved the structure, the character development and the way that Mark came into his more consistent personality in this book, but while all the details are beautiful, the reason for them taking the hike in the first place made no sense.
I took a step back, and decided to start over. All the exposition scenes had to be scrapped, decisions and motivations had to be redone, and now, a few days before November 1st, I’m back on track.
So here’s the Synopsis so far:
Mark and the Shadows in the ASH are contacted by a powerful Orchestrator in the form of massive fire that appears in the ASH before vanishing completely. So thus begins the long tradition of Mark running off to go find new Shadows which becomes a staple of the Shadows Series. My main goal during the first draft was just to send the kids on a hike and see how much trouble they could get into. The environment made for lots of character development and world building whilst laying the groundwork for the overarching plot of the next four books.
As I’ve written in detail before, the first draft of LC was rocky for me because I lost my first computer and had to handwrite a lot, so I spent more time developing the whole world of the shadows rather than just one book, and thus when I finally finished LC the latter half was a much more cohesive story than the first half. even the published version of LC is very similar to that first draft, including a lot of original passages and scenes. This was because now, I knew where the whole story was headed. HRD serves as the main mystery unfolding for the first time. While the first two books introduce Mark and the Shadows universe in simple stories, HRD is going to be a part of a much larger picture.
My goal for this draft is to bring HRD to about 150k or less, and to introduce new, more specific content related to gender expression and LGBTQ+ representation. I’m very excited to announce that there will be 6 nonbinary characters who are all consistently referred to by their preferred pronouns, and respected by the group of main characters. My intention is to normalize the inclusion of all genders and a natural part of the Shadows Universe and ours.
It’s also going to finally become cannon that Mark Halo is bisexual, which I’m super stoked about!
Halo’s Rag Doll is currently at 67k, and I’ll be doing regular word count updates over the month of November. Hopefully I’ll get my streak and be able to finish HRD in November, as well as blow through the 50k word goal like I did last year.
I’m ready to dive into this atmospheric hiking tale, and to treat all my little Shadow babies like Rag Dolls!