Behind The Scenes of Project Sunset – Writing is Rewriting is Rewriting is Rewriting…

good evening, cyberspace!

*cough cough* Please excuse the construction dust around here, friends! I’ve been reformatting some of this blog’s old pages and behind-the-scenes features, so while things might not look too awful different… there are definitely some new things happening here at the Smudged Thoughts headquarters…

One of which being the revival of the writing update series that I created approximately 3,000 years ago and then promptly forgot about! As one does, naturally.

look, I never said I was perfect, okay XD *kicks the amount of times I’ve called myself flawless under the carpet*

Anyway, back when this series first aired, I named it WIP It–a title I have since come to deeply regret. XD I’m still not sure exactly what I’d like to call this series–or how often I’ll even update this–but for right now I’m calling it “Behind The Scenes”. Because it’s… behind the scenes… of the book I’m writing… aha….

(by now it must be obvious that I have no clue what I’m doing.)

AHEM. Anyway. There’s been a LOT happening in my writing world lately, which feels pretty weird to say since I feel as though I’ve barely been present in the writing community. (which… er… might have added to the increased productivity with the writing?) 2022 dawned bright, extremely cold, and pretty productive! And while there have definitely been some things I’ve been slacking on (*cough* my room is a mess *cough*) I’m happy to report that the writing has, indeed, been happening. Perhaps not as much writing as I would like, but writing nonetheless.

(I’ve also managed to keep the anxiety attacks down to a minimum, so I guess you could say that this year is off to a fantastic start! 10/10. 5 stars.)

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working on a book–Project Sunset–since the spring of good ol’ 2020. (yep. 2020. please don’t run away screaming when you read that.) And after taking a smol break from it through 2021, I decided it’s time to revisit these crazy characters and revise the entire thing from the ground up! Which is quite an ordeal, if I do say so myself.

I have some posts about my progress over the past couple months, most of them pertaining to NaNoWriMo ’21–as I decided to tackle some major edits during November–but I figured since this revision is probably going to take up the majority of my writing time for the foreseeable future, perhaps it would be fun to document the journey just a little bit!

So let’s whip this wip into shape, shall we?

>>> <<<

chapter one — writing is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting is…

Revision is a difficult time, my friends. I always think I know exactly how I want to tackle the thing before I start, and then, just as soon as I put my fingers to the keys, I have a breakthrough. A plot bunny. A stray cat that I absolutely must follow into the woods. So it was with everlost. So it is with Project Sunset. And so, I must believe, it will be when the time comes to revise Project Goblin.

The good news? The revelation I’ve had for Project Sunset is going to turn this pretty good book into a super fun book. The bad news? …I was already halfway through my first set of revisions when this breakthrough decided to reveal itself.

A few days into the new year, well on my way to finishing my revisions by the deadline, I was struck with an Inspiration. An idea, if you will. And I was torn in half between two very distinct options of moving forward.

OPTION ONE… double back and rewrite the whole thing over again.

OPTION TWO… keep moving forward with my revision timeline and pretend as though the revelation didn’t exist.

There will always be differing opinions on which of these options is right, but I’ve found that there’s really no true way to know which path to take. Sometimes plowing forward is better. Sometimes doubling back is necessary. And I think every single story needs to be looked at from multiple angles before you decide which road to choose.

And for Project Sunset, my gut feeling told me that despite how harrowing it would be to go back and completely rewrite everything I’d already rewritten, this process was necessary.

Frustrating. Annoying. Mind-numbing, perhaps. But 100% necessary for writing the book that I want to write.

So here I am, knee-deep in revisions, reworking a plot that didn’t make much sense into one that kinda makes sense. Developing characters and their relationships and letting them steal a mechanical dog from a weasel of a mad-scientist… It’s been a *time*, you guys. But honestly…? I’ve been loving every single second of it.

There’s something about this book that just makes me ridiculously happy, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Though the project title is “Project Sunset”, this is definitely a sunshine book. There’s chaos and big found families and kidnappings and adventure. And the new twists I’m adding into the story are rounding it all out in a way that feels as though I’m finally on the path to making it all make sense. This second draft is testing me in many ways–my endurance, my ability to juggle multiple projects at once–but it has been so, SO good. And I’m excited, guys! I think this is a book that will be fun for people to read, even if it isn’t perfect.

Tracking the progress of this book is a whole other beast entirely, though. I’m trying to monitor the words I’ve written through revisions, and as of me typing this, I’m at about 5k for the year. Which isn’t bad, obviously, but it’s not exactly where I want to be right now, either. Circling back has placed a significant landslide on my projected finish date, which has convinced me to revise my revision plan. XD

In my goals post at the start of January, I said that I was shooting for January 31st as my deadline. Now, however, I’m pushing it back to February 28th! This gives me an extra solid month to play around with ideas and story structures and brainstorm some of the messier bits of plot, and going by the current trend of things, I’m pretty grateful for the extension. XD It’ll still be a pretty tight fit to finish in time, but I’m telling myself that once March hits, I’m putting this book away to work full-time on some of the other projects begging for my attention.

So if I want this book to be in the hands of readers by summer, I really need to kick myself into extra-high gear…

Speaking of… to be quite honest with you all, things may be a little quiet around these parts for the next two months. My writing time–which has been cut largely in half by my acceptance of a full-time position at work–is going to be very much controlled by Project Sunset until my deadline. Even now as I write this post I know I should be working on Mr. Book, but I can’t bring myself to just disappear again without giving you all some sort of reason as to why.

BUT–and this is where things get very interesting–I do have some news that I think miiiiight make my silence on the blog a little easier to swallow for both myself and you guys…

introducing Smudged Thoughts LIVE

I’m starting a Youtube channel, folks! It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time, and while I’m positively certain that I’m going to fail hard at this at first, I’m so excited to be able to share a more in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at my writing process with you all! Obviously I’m not sure how often I’ll be uploading, but I’m definitely shooting for two to three times a month. It’ll probably be slow-going at first, but in the meantime I’ve started recording daily vlogs that will eventually be compiled into one whole revison vlog for y’all to watch! (I’m actually very very excited about this one, guys.)

Once I have my first video posted, I’ll be leaving all the links and necessary thingies here on the blog, but rest assured–this blog will NOT turn into a content page for all of my youtube videos. My channel will be much more behind-the-scene-y and chill-vloggy, while the blog will–hopefully?–remain my central hub for more professional content.

Like cookie flinging. And character interviews. XD

Honestly I’m not entirely sure where I’m heading through either of these creative outlets, but I am honestly so excited to strike out and try new things! And my hope is that you guys will want to come along for the ride!

So for now, stay tuned for my very first youtube vlog! My goal is to keep it lightheared and “get to know me”-ish, so if you have any questions about me, my writing, what I’m hoping to accomplish with the blog or the vlog, please feel free to launch any and all thoughts below! I’m rubbish at responding to comments promptly, but I LOVE reading them all! So thank you eternally for all of the support! I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you guys! <333

talk to me, peasants!

have you ever underwent a major rewrite? do you believe in doubling back and crossing over, or do you prefer to keep going, even when the vision changes? what’s your favorite part of the editing process? (personally I’m just biting my nails and waiting until I can jump into line edits. XD)

As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS down in the comments below! And until next time…

* flings cookies in the air and disappears *

6 thoughts on “Behind The Scenes of Project Sunset – Writing is Rewriting is Rewriting is Rewriting…

  1. Oh man. The I-could-go-back-and-do-it-again-or-just-keep-going feeling is the worst. It doesn’t matter if it’s a first draft or a second…that particular realization always produces a sinking feeling in my stomach, and a curious death of motivation. XD So, I’m sorry you had to deal with that, but I hope that it goes ok for you!

    And I’m so excited to see where your YouTube channel goes!!

    (I also really love line edits. Content/plot/whatever edits are HARD.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. EEP. I looooved getting a writing update from you! This was a TREAT. But, oh man, the struggle is REAL when a brand new, shiny, and often better idea smacks you right in the middle of working on a project and disrupts allll your carefully laid plans. >.> I LOVE what you said about it though: “Sometimes plowing forward is better. Sometimes doubling back is necessary. And I think every single story needs to be looked at from multiple angles before you decide which road to choose.” Yes, yes ,yes! I 100% agree! There is no on size fits all with these things. No Single Rule that we should all follow. It’s up to us as to the best action to take. And it sounds to me like you’re doing just what your book needs! I’ll be honest, I usually push myself just to keep going and then…regret it. Because I wasted all that time on something that I’m going to back and change ANYWAY. So I think, in the end, starting over instead of plowing on can often save time. Again, it definitely depends on the project. If you’re gut feeling is telling you to pull back to the beginning, I say GO FOR IT. You’re absolutely going to get this, girl! And your persistence is going to make it all the better.

    ALSO. What is this about a mechanical dog??? Every time I get a little tidbit about this novel I get RIDICULOUSLY excited! Oh my goodness gracious, I cannot wait for this thing!!!!

    ALSO ALSO.

    KENZIE IS MAKING A YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
    AND I CAN’T STOP SQUEALING.
    AND JUST.
    EEP.

    Literally every time you post a video on your IG stories it brightens my day, so a whole YouTube channel is a GIIIIIFT. There are no words to express my complete and utter elation of thissss.

    I am over here cheering you on every step of the way with all your amazing endeavors! So, so proud of you!!! *waves pompoms*

    Liked by 1 person

    • ACK!!!! This whole comment just filled my heart with so much happy… Like legit I’ve been struggling with being productive with my writing, but just hearing your kind words and motivation…I feel like I can write all of the things right now. (and I honestly probably should go and get cracking on that. XD)

      BUT EEP! Hopefully someday you will be able to read it! (someday soon, maybe???) I’m just so so excited to get this book into the hands of readers. Hopefully it will be worth it! XD

      Like

  3. Your title says it all.

    So. Much. Rewriting.

    To answer your question, yes, I’ve definitely had to do major re-writes, and I… have a very love/hate relationship with it. I hate doing it. But I love how much better the story and the characters get because of it.

    I feel like my current WIP is a massive fire-breathing dragon beast from the black depths of the abyss at the moment. Probably compounded a bit by the fact that I’ve had a couple of setbacks recently that I’m still reeling from a bit.

    Your vlog sounds like a lot of fun! I hope it goes well for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much rewriting. All of the rewriting. Why does it never end. XD

      UGH YES! I love how strong the story gets through it all! But like…if hobgoblins could come and do the actual revision while I sleep, I also wouldn’t mind in the slightest. XD

      Oh goodness! Now THIS I can relate to! I can’t even begin to tell you how many random side notes I have throughout this entire story. Things that need edited. Revised scenes that need revised AGAIN. Revision notes on top of editorial notes on top of more revisions… (but also!!! I hope the setbacks are getting better? if there is anything I can do to help, or even if you just need to vent, please know that I’m here and my DM’s are open!)

      Meep! Thank you! The video was definitely fun to make, but I…may not be venturing down that path anymore. My Life is a shipwreck currently. XD

      Like

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