Well, the prototype cover I shared on my blog last month will be tweaked a bit–so will the back cover synopsis. And the reason for this is because the third draft of Codename: Velocity has completely changed the overall dynamic and theme for the novel.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’ll still be a romance novel. But a different kind of romance.
I initially assumed that the second draft version of the book was good enough to be published. I mean, it was a pretty good foray into both straight and lesbian relationships. But it was still rough around the edges. And now that I think about it, it still had a few hang ups in the story structure and plot. Nothing that would endanger the book, but would drive the reader fucking nuts.
See, my own exploration of this centered on a very much younger version of Velocity and her best friend and partner, Mari. (Codename: Blue Mercury.) I didn’t think anything could get really started between her Controller and herself because of some sticking issues that surrounded their platonic relationship.
I didn’t think age would be much of a problem because nothing was really going to happen between them. Nothing sexually of course. (With her and Mari–that was a horse of an entirely different color.)
But I soon realized–after talking about it with a couple of online friends and authors (not too mention my editor)–I had hit a legal snag that would really kill the book before it even got out into the public domain.
Especially when we are talking about Amazon.
So I went back and fixed the glaring age issues in the book; modifying some things here and there and doing a general change over without really impacting the story line. But in the end, I realized that by changing the age of the characters (Velocity and Mari’s), I was essentially transforming the nature of the book itself. It wasn’t so young and innocent as I had hoped. It was something else.
Something I hadn’t planned for. At all.
Then my editor offered some suggestions on a key chapter of the novel (the beach scene) and I thought it would be prudent to expand on it. But in doing so, I really fouled things up. Now the book was really in trouble and I started to see it as an amateurish attempt at romance. (“This is not good!”-sort of way)
So I told my editor after I completed the new chapters and the changes that I would have to go back and rewrite the novel using the new configuration. I thought I could get away with expanding on the existing chapters of the second draft, but I encountered yet another problem–an obstacle really: The book’s dynamic had changed. The current chapters weren’t going to work.
Outside of the first three–or four–original chapters, the rest of the book had to be dumped in favor of the new format.
So instead of writing from a 16 year-old’s point of view, I was now writing closer to that of a 19 year-old’s. And in doing so, the book changed considerably.
I did manage to tie in some of the second draft elements into the new third draft, but I didn’t rewrite any of those chapters from scratch. Everything was pretty much brand new and raw in nature. But gone was the indecisiveness of both Jaen and Velocity.
That was the one glaring problem I fixed in the third draft. I did it by getting them to come to terms early on in the novel without having to drag it out for much of the book. (Which–I think–saves on the reader’s patience.)
The other thing is that I established early on that both Mari and Velocity were already involved in a relationship of their own and had been for the past couple of years. (From the age of 16–which was a dynamic in the second draft.)
So this cut out a lot of the soul searching and questions that both characters would have and face, and give them a chance to push things along at will.
I also did some new character creations as well (Controller Treys, Healers Lin and Tarla) and gave Maven a more of a role in the third draft of the book than I did in the second. (He’s Mari’s Controller and only got an honorable mention, but he wasn’t present at all in the entire book.)
I also expanded on the combat training scenes in the book. The one with the drones and the Controllers in the second draft only ran a short seven pages. The new revisions made it possible for me to extend it to a mind-blowing 21 pages.
A second combat training scene will be included before the book is done–one that I had planned on saving for the opening of The Southlands. But since the book has changed so much, I’m giving readers a second bonus into the training regimens of the genetics at the Compound.
I had also planned on a sweet beach scene between Mari and Velocity towards the end–with her confessing to her friend–but since I already established their relationship early on, this ideas was quickly jettisoned.
I also toyed with the idea of a heavy sex scene between Jaen and Velocity, but the more things started to change, the more I came to realize…not happening.
So I’m going to settle with her sleeping with him at some point in the first book (no sex I’m afraid) and go from there.
But the book will still focus on the romance triangles between all three characters and still focus on the romantic interludes of all three of them, but it won’t be a fantasy novel.
So I have two months to finish this book. My editor gave me a January 2016 deadline to finish the novel, but I think my August 31st or September 2nd will be just fine.
Oh. One more thing. This book has a number of 10+ page chapters and a few 20+ page ones.
So be prepared when the book becomes available for purchase. I’m still hoping for a 2017 launch date, but it might be pushed back if the edits are as extreme as I think they will be.