The Darkest Winter Update

Yesterday I finished my (final-ish) editing pass on the first ten chapters of my book. I got that material back from Wil just before Christmas and pulled all my notes together from all my sources to do it.

The good news is that it was pretty easy. No major changes in writing. The biggest change is about to be worked on in the next section.

Starting with Chapter 10, there’s a big plot point about the main character, Tim, planning on leaving New Jersey. I’m going to change how those plans come together. It extends through chapter 11 and if I’m recalling my notes right, chapter 12. There are some references to it further on that I’ll have to change for continuity.

This is right now, far and away the biggest chunk of writing I intend to change. There are 2 other things I have in mind to change much further in the book, but those are much simpler.

So I’ve changed things in Chapter 10 and I’m going to wait for the next batch of material from Wil to continue these edits. I think I have it mapped out well, it’s just a matter of execution. I’m confident about it though. I’ve thought a lot about this segment and I’m going to be moving larger sections around so it’s not a total rewrite. It doesn’t feel like a daunting task, more like a refinement that I think will make this part much better. So that feels good confidence-wise.

Outside of this, the one big thing Wil brought up to me is to consider changing the order of the first 7 chapters. Right now, the chapters jump around in time and location. I did that to keep interest up, show what the Event of the book is and to introduce Tim. It works, but it makes the reader wonder what Tim has to do with the story. Going from the hackers to him is a big swing and while it comes together and does click, it takes some reading to get there. By reordering these chapters it should make for a cleaner and faster on-ramp to the story. I think the set up will be much more accessible this way and could end up keeping more readers from bailing on the book early.

So I’m playing with the order now while I wait for Wil to send me the next section. That way I’ll have the beginning all squared away and can move on from there.

Feels really good to be making progress, I’m excited for you to get what’s been in my head for years into your hands.

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