I spent most of last night (really this morning. Early this morning) picking up the old threads to Topheth, the sequel to The Coppersmith. I started this book back in 2007, sometime after wrapping up the first, and I never finished it. I only got to around 27K words or so before moving on to write The Lost Scrolls. Now, going back to it again, I’m finding it a little difficult to reconnect with my lead character.
Part of the problem is that she’s changed between now and then. I made some serious adjustments to Janelle Becker before releasing The Coppersmith, mostly in terms of giving her a drug problem, and now I have to make who she is in this book consistent with who she’s become. The other part of the problem is that I’ve changed as a writer. I find that I’m much more critical and more developed than I was when I started working on Topheth. Even though there are parts of the story that are pure gold (my main reason in picking it up again), especially the scene where my arsonist tries to recall his daughter’s spirit by setting fire to the church (you’ll have to read it. I post an excerpt shortly.), there are way too many other parts that just need radical work to make them presentable.
All this is to say that I’m probably way off on my word count goals, but that’s largely because I’ve spent most of my time editing the story to try and get her character “right.” I’ve reached the point now where I can move ahead with the story, though the truth is she’s still not quite there. But I have more confidence now that I’ll get her where I want her to be before the story concludes. Regardless, I’m done making excuses. Now it’s time to crank out some words.