Seven Seals Log #2 - There Are Two Novels Within My Novel (Whoops)
I got far into the first draft of Seven Seals before realizing that something felt off about the story. Well, it was a thought that was in the back of my mind for a while, actually. Mid-way through Gold Fever, I had already thought up the plot for this story, so I suppose I was trying to push any doubts out of my mind; simply because it was what I decided would happen ahead of time.
However, toward the end of Seven Seals, I found myself face-to-face with a major problem: The climax felt stretched thin and anti-climactic. There are several antagonists involved, and yet none of them have had a confrontation with all of the protagonists at once. The problem? I was trying to turn two stories into one, and all because my mind was set on that idea from the beginning.
Without giving anything away, Seven Seals was going to have two separate groups of characters journeying to two different parts of the Dark Savior world. They would eventually meet up in one central location - possibly the biggest and most important location of the story - for the final act. But it just felt flat.
That was when I realized that I had rushed through the previous two locations and plot lines to get to that final location, and I introduced far too many new elements in this final location as well. In other words, by trying to force too many ideas into one book, I'm doing a disservice to all of my ideas. It's not just the story line, but characters that are hurt as well. Their motivations aren't as fleshed out or strong due to lack of focus.
So the decision that I've come to is that I need to omit that final location from Seven Seals, and have a heavier focus on the prior two locations and plot lines. This will make it harder to have one cohesive climax, but hey, Lord of the Rings did it, so it must be okay!
I have officially chopped up the parts of the story that need to stay in Seven Seals, while copy/pasting everything else into a new document which will eventually turn into the third book of the Dark Savior Series. Even though this will slow down progress of my current work, I tend to look at it in a positive light. This will not only allow me to flesh out more parts of the story and make it stronger, but it will also mean that I can release the second and third novel in closer succession, probably within 2-3 months of each other. That should really help sales.
Speaking of sales, my next log is going to focus on my sales strategy moving forward. Thankfully, I believe that I have figured out how to break through a crowded indie market in 2019, but it's going to take effort and luck that I haven't put forth yet. Most of all though, I'm going to have to release a quality sequel to Gold Fever, which has done well in reviews so far.
In my opinion, having a series of books is one of the keys to indie authors breaking through (Will go over this in more detail in the next log), but none of it would matter if the sequel was a dud. Seven Seals is a crucial part of the Dark Savior Series, because it needs to prove that Gold Fever wasn't just a fluke. It needs to keep people hooked while expanding upon the first book's ideas and the world it created. In this, I over-zealously put too much story into my story... if that makes any sense. I'm glad that I caught this and am making the changes, even if it will set me back some time. It's time well-spent.
Once I finish the first draft of Seven Seals, I'll post my next log, detailing my plan to break through as an indie author. So until then, stay classy internet!