It’s been a couple months since I’ve added 12k to the WIP that will become my next release. So, how did the first read-through of The Fall (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #2) go with the new additions?
The Pacing Needs Some Work…
When comparing this draft’s story beats with my three act story structure worksheet (courtesy of Abbie Emmons), and then with the recommended percentages I’ve found online (where Act One should end, where Act Three should start, etc.)… The Fall looked like it was in somewhat of a mess. The way the manuscript was during this round of edits, Act One ends at around 33% mark, when it’s recommended to end around 25%. So yeah… I kinda freaked out when I realized that. Not to mention Act Two was a little Skinny Minnie and that just made me want to pull my hair out. I don’t even know how that happened.
Pacing is an aspect some readers had issues with while reading The Crush, and in hindsight, I agree the third act was rushed a bit and agree pacing is something I need to improve on with future books. One of my biggest issues I’ve had plotting lately is trying to align the story beats on my worksheet with percentages of where the acts should start and end. While my plotting sheet from Abbie Emmons has helped me tremendously in the past, I’ve found I need to start using an alternative cheat sheet that includes percentage marks, so my pacing will be more on point. I scoped out other cheat sheets online, and came across one by author Savannah Gilbo, who offers a free template (after subscribing my email) that is based off the Save the Cat method. Using the percentages offered there as a guideline, I’ve figured out how to restructure my existing beats to better fit the tried and true mold of the three act story structure. I’m not normally one to stick to the status quo… but trust me, The Fall needs it desperately. My book baby’s looking like a hot mess right now.
Actually Revising? Haha, Not Yet…
So… if you’ve read my latest WIP Update for The Dream (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #3), you’ll know that after, like, over six months of a writing hiatus, I finally got back to writing that manuscript and wrote 5,000 words last month. Throughout June, I upped my word count goal back to the usual 10,000 words, and the manuscript is now sitting at a little less than 58,000 words as of June 26th.
As you can tell, the writing train has left the station and I’ve been chugging along with that. Plus, my full-time job has been Stress City, and my free time on the weekends hasn’t been the most bountiful in the past few weeks, as it’s been birthday parties, funerals, Josh’s travel bowling, and get-togethers galore, (and I’ve also been behind on pre-scheduling blog content, so there’s that) so taking time to edit The Fall has been placed on the back burner until I can figure something out.
But… I may be on to figuring something out. I did some math on my word count goals, and if I start alternating word counts between 6,000 and 10,000 each month, (maybe, if wedding preparations and work don’t throw me into a mental breakdown *laughs nervously*), I would be able to reach my ultimate goal of +/- 80,000 words by the end of September. And writing less during the 6k months will, hopefully, leave more time to edit The Fall.
Win-win, right? Please pray that it’ll work!
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
If you’re a writer, how is your current WIP going? Do you plot using a Three Act Story Structure template? If so, which one do you use?
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.