Oh my goodness. So, the first thing to say is that I am DESPERATE to erase, or at least edit, the post from last week where I talked about my plans for Before Again.
I have a weird and frankly annoying ‘fresh start’ compulsion. If I make a new life choice, or even just mix up my schedule or focus a bit, I immediately require a brand new diary to start the new phase as though I’m reborn. Often I have to start a fresh notebook if I make a big story change while plotting. I can't quite articulate it, but somehow I need everything to cleanly reflect what I am thinking at the current time. Yes, it’s bonkers, Yes, it’s expensive. I'm fairly sure I single-handedly keep Paperchase/Papier/Bindewerk afloat with my business.
It’s why I have a terrible habit of unpublishing books I’m not currently happy with, or redoing all my social media branding and then redoing it again the following day. I’ve no idea what that says about my brain; I’ve long accepted that it is what it is. It’s the one aspect of self publishing that is terrible for me. I’m fairly confident a publisher wouldn’t let me entirely re-start my career several times a week!
It's why part of this whole launch is about committing to the follow through.
(Just had to pause in the writing of this because my neighbour’s wee cat — he’s less than a year old and I love him and he keeps getting stuck in my back garden. He can get over the wall from their side, but it’s a bit too high from mine, so he comes and miaows at me until I help him over. I dedicate much of my day to serving Leo as he demands and I have no regrets.)
Anyway, yes. The follow through. That’s why this diary is about recording the daily ups and downs and thought processes as they happen — if nothing else, if something comes out that you weren’t expecting, you’ll be able to come here and unravel what the heck happened 🤪
Right. So. Before Again.
As I talked about last week, it’s the troubled child that I have a soft spot for. I'm obsessed with the story, I dream about it, I can't let it go... and yet I'm convinced I'm not doing it right.
For the past few months, I’ve had this sense that I need to start again, and approach the story from a different angle. I knew that it was always going to be the same story, I just thought I needed to tell it differently, somehow.
Yesterday, I sat down to go through it, figure out what needed done, and make some decisions. The main decision I made is that it’s fine and I've been being dramatic. In fact, I ended up in a wild mad-scientist writing frenzy and realised that, having thought it was impossible and I could never even start, in fact I’ve got a good lot of Days Gone Next scribbled already.
The only real change I’m going to make is making it third person so that I’m free to introduce the new character perspectives that I need to in Days Gone Next. I don’t know why it irritates me intensely to flip between first and third person in a book, it just does. There might be a couple of new scenes, but nothing major at all. It's barely a new draft.
I’ve started this work this morning, and then I’m going to have it re-edited. That will all take a few weeks, and then I will re-publish… and immediately start serialising Days Gone Next.