Digging Back In

Have I told you guys about RaTs? It stands for Runaway Tales, and is a prompt system based on flavors. It’s a fairly big deal over at WriYe, so when I reconnected with the community at the beginning of 2019, I signed up as well.

(In case you’re wondering, the flavors I’m working on are Green Tea, Tangelo, and Rhubarb. There’s 20-30 prompts within each flavor, so I’m still working on my original three.)

People use RaTs for various projects, but I use mine mostly for little characterization snips, writing main characters when they were children or when they’re much older than in the actual novels, or digging through various backstory events that will never make it into the main story, or writing pieces from side characters that I don’t normally use for a point of view.

(I tend to do 1 or 2 RaTs a month, so it doesn’t take up a lot of my time. But I think it does help with story depth, so it’s fun and useful at the same time.)

(And it’s always nice to further explore worlds that are already built than having to always build new ones.)

Anyway, long story short (too late), Wednesday I went through and picked out my prompt for the month, with the thought that I’d write it from a side character’s point of view during the third book of my high fantasy trilogy.

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve touched Book 3 (I’ve rewritten Book 1 since then), so I thought it best to go into Book 3 and make sure what I was remembering happened actually happened, so my RaTs was as accurate as possible.

And…I ended up reading all of Book 3. This is a problem I have with the trilogy, at times. I’ve been working on it forever, so it’s never really all the way out of my mind, and Book 3, well, it’s pretty good. All my betas stayed up too late while they were working on it, which is a huge compliment. Of course, there’s some tweaking to be done, to update it off the Book 1 rewrite, but still, very solid.

None of that matters though, because Book 1 still needs work. And I’m going to start it today! The idea is to read back through it, leaving myself notes, then add in beta notes and make an editing plan. If I’m remembering correctly, most of the problems are right at the beginning of the book, so I’m hoping the revision will be fairly straightforward.

(I’m thinking that I’ve just got to end my first couple of chapters in different places, so they read more like the continuation of a longer story than a series of short vignettes. But that’s what re-reading is for.)

But the characters have been in my head for a couple of days now, and while I was lying in bed last night, I was actually super excited to get going on my re-read. I mean, like, full of happy anticipation. It’s different than the excitement you get before you start a new story–it’s more like getting to see friends you haven’t seen in long time and have been missing.

Here’s hoping this bodes well for working on the revision!

I hope you’re having a lovely January, squiders, and I’ll see you next week!

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