Oh for goodness sake

I am, without a doubt, the worst at keeping up with things.

Case in point: this website. Second case in point: this blog.

So, for the whole .1 person out there that keeps up with this blog (that .1 person being me), allow me to apologize for my nearly year long absence. Let me tell you why I was MIA.

Reason 1. Camp.

Reason 2. Camp.

Reason 3. Convention.

Reason 4. Road trip through California.

Reason 5. Rewriting my second book.

And honestly the rewriting of book 2 has been an excursion that's only taken two years. #I'm not done yet. #Haha you thought I was a super awesome writer didn't you? I ask myself that, because yeah, no. I'm really just someone trying to avoid the pitfall that is the internet and buckle down and write some stuff.

Okay, now for something not self-loathing. Why am I rewriting a second book when I haven't even published my first one? I could point to one very prominent example of this (*coughcough*namerhymeswithbowling*cough*), but allow me to illustrate it.

Imagine, if you will, the intrepid, bright eyed writer, feverishly typing and maybe even handwriting their series. It's a series built around a world that's meant to be grounded in reality, but has fantastical elements. They get it published and eight years later start retconning the crap out of their series and their characters and continually mention how they might've kind've gotten some of the stuff not well fleshed out and it doesn't make sense.

I'm talking about me.

I'm also talking about another writer out there, but hey, let's leave that at the door. If I'd had my druthers, 10 years ago I would have been a published author with a couple books under my belt with the last few books highly anticipated. And if that had happened, by gosh by golly, I'd hate past me. I've learned so much about my characters, about their motivations, about the world they represent, about that world's history, dangit even about characters that are brand spankin' new to the series but HOLY WOW do they carry a lot of weight for the future of the story. I would totally be that writer retconning their story like crazy because yeah, I would have made huge mistakes doing things I originally planned to do.

At least, that's what I'm fairly sure is the case.

An outline doesn't do it for me. A detailed outline doesn't do it for me. I have to write the whole thing out and make sure that points A-Z make sense. One day I will share what an outline looks like for me on this blog. You will laugh. Or feel sorry for me. Or just wonder why in God's name I'm writing a book series. Because my outlines are worse than a drunken sailors attempt to steer to starboard, I need to fight my way through rewrites that are so painful it's as though I'm writing an entire different story.

Because in all actuality, I am. Characters are completely different because I neglected to realize what they were going through and how they would actually react to the problems they faced. Themes and motivations are completely different because I hadn't bothered to dive deeper than surface level. The world itself is completely different because I didn't do enough world building at the onset. These are the things that I try to remind people of when they start to say "Wow, you wrote your first draft at 19?" Yes. Yes I did. And it's terrible. The draft I wrote when I was 22 was terrible. The draft I just wrote recently at 29 might be okay.

Now let's all learn from Susan's mistakes kids: do the heavy lifting before you write out over 500 thousand words in a year.