Today I have drawn for you the offspring of a shark and a unicorn – a unishark, if you will. His name is Gaylord. He enjoys long swims by the shore, and complimenting fish for no reason. He’s also very ticklish.
TBSOL FV Progress Report
I’m currently on chapter 50 of TBSOL FV, and I’ve outlined 52 chapters in total. I’m not sure if there will be exactly 52 chapters or not – there might be more or less – but the end is near, either way. Chapter 50 is going to be the hardest chapter to write. After that, it should be easy sailing to ‘the end.’ But for now, chapter 50 feels like the writing equivalent of climbing Mr. Everest.
Someone asked me if I thought FV was much better than v2. In writing v2, I felt that it was a vast improvement upon v1. In writing FV, I go back and forth on whether it’s an improvement on v2. I think parts are, for sure, and parts maybe aren’t.
So is it the better version? I want to say yes – that it’s the very best version of TBSOL, but I don’t know if that’s true. Which version is best will forever be a matter of opinion. I’m no less flawed as a writer now than I was at twenty-one – I’m just flawed in a different way. And I think that’s the same for anything I write, whether it’s version 1 or version 20. The most I can say is that I have given my very best to each and every draft of this book. What that best translates to I’m sure will vary from reader experience to reader experience.
If asked which version I’d be happiest publishing, though, my answer would definitely be FV. It’s the version I am happiest with. I feel it’s the most focused and consistent of the three. It’s also the one I put the most thought into in terms of structure and setting things up for a sequel.
Now, if I can just manage to write this damn chapter… ;)
This snippet is from chapter 47. This chapter is a long scene between Kris and her mom. I’d had this exchange in mind – and parts of it written out – for a really long time, and I was happy to finally get it down.
There was a scene in v2 between Kris and her mom that I really liked. They were doing the dishes and talking about Nathan cheating on Kris, and about her father cheating on her mother. I was really happy with that exchange, because I thought it captured, in very few words, the main differences between them. I desperately wanted to replicate that scene in FV, but I couldn’t because I’d changed so many details – Nathan cheating on Kris, for example. But especially Kris. I feel Kris is very different in FV, so she wouldn’t say the same things.
I ended up writing a much longer scene between them because I really wanted to highlight Kris’ life independent of Julianne, as well as her own internal struggles, which have so much to do with her family. But I also wanted to show how far she’s come, as a character, between v1 and v3.
Here’s a short snippet:
“I’m not you,” Kris said, without thinking. “I know I’m young, and probably naïve, but being an artist is who I am. Growing up, I was told to sit up straight and pay attention. I was told to color inside the lines. I was taught math and science – an A is good, an F is bad. But no one ever encouraged individuality. No one ever told me it was okay to fail. Where are those lessons? If we were told to innovate and take chances as often as we’re told to smile and follow the crowd, we’d all be a lot less messed up.”
Her mother looked as if all of the fight had gone out of her. She leaned forward across the table, and took Kris’ hand. “Words and dreams are pretty things, m’hija,” she said, “but they won’t pay the rent.”