The Journey Home: The Making of What Once Was Home
Part Four: Back in the Saddle
In Part Three: Slightly Sidetracked, I had set aside the novel to work on a side project. From there, a year passed where I wrote five novellas, an anthology, and started a publishing business. Finally, it was time to take this off the shelf…
Since I had gone a year without looking at this manuscript, I knew I needed to read back over it. Even if I hadn’t developed so much as a writer, I needed to get back into the feel of the story. I also needed to make sure I was familiar with every character nuance, every detail of the world, and every beat of the plot.
I improved it quite a bit as I read through it as well. There were some issues with how it was written that made me glad I had taken a break and developed more as a writer and an editor before I came back to it. It was nothing extreme, just little touches that polished it up and made it flow better.
Finally I got through what I had already written, and I was more than happy with the progress I had made. I had pantsed the book so far (discovery writing: making it up as you go instead of planning it out), so I spent some time planning out the rest of it. How would it all tie together? What was going to be the focus of the second half?
It’s hard to share any details from that point on without spoilers. A lot happens in here and there’s not many things I could talk about without ruining the pacing of the story, revealing certain things too soon, or outright telling you how it’s going to end. As far as the writing process though, it went very well. Even with keeping up with my duties for Kyanite Publishing and taking on a load of other new opportunities, I was able to burn through it quickly.
I will reveal this little secret though: the book has a prologue, and I wrote that about halfway through writing the second half of the book. Once I hit the end and wrote the epilogue, I had to go back and fine tune a few details from the prologue.
Every chapter starts with an excerpt from Jace’s autobiography, and that’s something I started from day one. I wanted this to feel like he was looking back on what had happened. I realized to get the full effect of that, I should bookend things with scenes of him as an older man looking back on his life. So, I went back and wrote that prologue, finished things up, and it was ready for the first complete read through.