Unraveling Draft 3 Complete!

After nine long months of revisions, I have completed the third major draft of Unraveling. My goal was to fix 80% of the problems and create 5% new problems (unavoidable). I believe if you try for 100% you will never get started.

Draft 3 Major Changes

  1. Broke apart the protagonist’s massive flashback into six segments, evenly spaced throughout the novel. This keeps the reader focused on the present, and prevents the flashback from feeling like a novella withing a novel. It also provides more transitions and parallels to unify the subplots and themes.
  2. Stayed in the protagonist’s point of view in every scene where he appears. Removed many scenes of other characters’ point of view.
  3. Removed a lengthy courtroom subplot. It diverted from the plot, tone, and genre of the novel
  4. Reordered several plot points to improve story flow and evenly space sub plots. Merged scenes and removed some micro scenes for smoother reading.
  5. Shortened length and sharpened tone of the school subplot so it keeps the horror tone rather than feeling like a young adult coming of age story.
  6. Cut 6000+ words total length!

Draft 4 Plans

  1. Increase reader sympathy for all characters
  2. Reduce family dysfunction, improve character relations.
  3. Changing a main character’s profession.
  4. Smooth out the protagonists arc in places where it jumps or backtracks.
  5. Thread the subplots more closely to the central themes
  6. Improve voice by keeping simplifying language
  7. Reduce total length to under 100k. Make every word work for me!

A few beta readers have completed draft 3 with more on the way, so I will get more insight soon. Until next time.