Digging Deeper


I’ve laid down the rough draft of Six Train’s sequel. The beginning has gone through 6 rounds of revisions as I work. The end is clunky. It’s only been through 1 round. The hardest part is the emotional arc. I’ve got to feel my way through it all. That’s how I write. It’s me down on the ground in the muck with my characters. Every thing they say and do has to come from their inner struggles.

And if it doesn’t feel authentic to me, I rework it. Sometimes I spend days asking myself what is really going on. Because there is so much unsaid in each scene. I have to dig deeper. Even if it doesn’t end up splashed across the page, I have to know the inner inner workings of my characters.

So that every action makes sense. It’s not me thinking this would be cool, but me knowing this is what Kai would do next. And so the book evolves. Changes. Becomes something of it’s own.

I should have the first draft revised by mid December. Then it’s a couple months away from it to let it breathe. Allow things to percolate. And then a serious round of major revisions before it goes to betas in May.


October was a good month for sales. I sold 76 copies online and at events. One of the best months I’ve had all year.ย Thanks to everyone who bought a copy!


I’m off to Miami this week. I’ll post to Facebook while I’m at the Miami Book Fair and the Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Ceremony!

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26 Responses to Digging Deeper

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    There is so much we develop about our characters that never makes it to the page, isn’t there? But as you say, if we don’t dive that deep, we risk the characters not being authentic. Then we risk losing our readers.

    • It’s crazy how much more we need to know to write what readers actually read. ๐Ÿ™‚ Exactly, motivation has to be understood so character’s actions flow from who they are. Otherwise we risk having inauthentic characters!

  2. Sounds like you’re getting there! Good luck with all those revisions. Do you enjoy the revision/editing stage? I know some authors hate that part and others prefer it to the original writing of the first draft.

    • Doing my best! I do. I love drafting because I get to put an initial scene onto the page. But revision is where I dig deeper and really make sure the whole thing works. I always prefer drafting when I’m revising and vice versa. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. This sounds like an emotional wringer you have to go through Kourtney, as you ‘Feel’ the emotional journey of those in your book…
    This shows a true writer who lives her book ..
    Congrats on your best sales month.. And whooo.. Miami.. Nice.. Bet it is a bit warmer there than here.. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a wonderful safe trip.. and ENJOY!!! (( Hugs )) <3 Sue

    • It is. Most of the time I mine past experiences, but I have to go back and relive the feelings again. That can be exhausting and cathartic. It’s my way of capturing the emotions. Thanks. It was a tough month but the sales were a rainbow in the rainstorm. Miami–very excited to get out and about. Much warmer. We had snow here this weekend.


  4. Kourtney, it sounds like things are moving along as they should. Doesn’t lessen the work. But I am so glad sales were up in October.

  5. EllaDee says:

    Congratulations on the sales ๐Ÿ™‚ The writing and re-writing process sounds intense, almost like you’re living an other life, at least while you’re immersed in the process. Remember to breathe, and have a great time in Miami ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been putting all my energy into it for 4 years now. I’ve never focused my entire self on anything like this before. But I also miss having a personal life and having my own adventures. I’m going to scale back a bit and allow more me time. Aw thank you. I may get in that hotel pool or hit the beach. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. This beta will be waiting whenever you feel ready to hand off the manuscript! The timing sounds perfect, since I don’t work in the summers. Enjoy some time in the sun and warmth! Hopefully this dreadful cold hasn’t made it that far south. I’m already looking forward to spring! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks Gwen! My plan is May so you will have it for the summer. But I’ll keep you updated. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks. I’m looking forward to the adventure. I think it’s in the 70s there. Yay!

  7. Lori D says:

    Boy, I can relate to feeling with the characters. My dรฉbut novel put me through the ringer of emotions with Ava and Meg, but especially Ava, since I based her on me. Have a great time in Miami and enjoy the weather if you get a chance to get out.

    • That’s cool to hear. I have author buddies who take different approaches and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one emoting along with my characters. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks. I’ll definitely get out for the book fair and maybe a nice stroll on the beach. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. diannegray says:

    Well done with the sales, Kourtney ๐Ÿ˜€ Knowing your characters is vital and takes a heap of work. Every reaction they have needs to be authentic and true to form. I have pages of writing about my characters that the reader never gets to see ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks Dianne! It really is. I’m reading Larry Brooks Story Engineering and a lot of the character stuff comes very naturally to me. I love layering. It’s cool to hear that I’m doing something right. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yup, me too. Lots of Post-It notes and Scrivener character bios that no one ever sees. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Getting to really know the characters is one reason why I never view a “scrapped” scene or version as a waste of time. I hope I’m cutting down on the sheer number of those scraps with practice, but there will always be something that doesn’t make the cut. But those dead ends and false trails can help us see what we might otherwise have missed.

    Hope you’re enjoying the conference, and congratulations on those sales! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s very true! A first draft is like a marble block. We have to carve into it to get the the sculpture within. I find I write better first drafts than I used to, but I still do cut a good amount. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks! Heading out this morning to Miami!

  10. I always write so much more about my characters in my first 2-3 drafts than I actually need. It’s helpful for me to have it on paper/screen and to see that information mesh with all the action. I often have to move bits around when I realize certain revelations either have to come earlier or later. But, really, it’s hard to know all that until you see it being played out in the story.

    Enjoy Miami!

    • Sometimes I’m telling myself the story. Then I go back and flesh out the scenes and cut back on that original laying out of things. Yup–always moving things around and tinkering. And you can’t truly tinker until that whole draft is laid out and then you realize oh I need this to happen 5 chapters earlier/later. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Miami was nice. The weather was bad, but the book fair was fun and the awards ceremony was really cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

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