What stage of the writing process am I in?

I have three stories in various stages, so I’ll give a brief update on each.

Cloudborn

A land split down the middle: one side forest and shadow, the other sun and field. Each side fears and despises the other, but their magics are meant to balance each other. Raesh’s sister was murdered by a man from the other side, but his quest for revenge brings him into the life of a little girl he can’t seem to blame for her people’s mistakes.

This was my first full-length novel. It turned into a trilogy. The first book has gone through two rounds of edits with one other person’s feedback. The second book is complete but unedited. The third book is about two-thirds complete.

I set aside this series several years ago because I had grown so much as a person and as a writer since I started it. Someday I might go back to it, but it will need to be completely rewritten because, to be honest, it’s not that great.

Unnamed dark dystopian project

The world is plagued by shadowbeasts, ghostly monsters that feed on fear. To fight them, the mystics have been training warriors, the strongest of whom become magically-enhanced legends. Xerathea is the most powerful legend they have, but with the never-ending onslaught of darkness, she begins to wonder if there is more to the mystics’ plan than even she knows.

This story has been slowly forming in the back of my mind for a couple years. Last year for NaNoWriMo I wrote the first 50k words, but I haven’t worked a lot on it since then. I’m not quite sure where the story is going yet, so I need some focused brainstorming time before I pick it up again. I’d like to work on it for NaNo again this year, if time allows.

Daughter of Sorcery

Sadie is the daughter of a sorcerer, but she wants nothing to do with the magic that is eating her father’s soul. When her father captures a hapless prince and assigns him three impossible tasks, Sadie determines to secretly help the poor fellow succeed. Then, maybe he could be her ticket to freedom.

I started this novel with 50k words during NaNo 2019. I finished it in October of 2020. The first draft was 165k words, which is far too long. I completed the second draft (goal: cut as many words as possible) in spring of 2021. I completed the third draft (goal: fill plot holes and maintain story consistency) in summer of 2021. Then I sent the third draft to alpha readers.

I have now received feedback from one of those alpha readers (thank you!!!). In addition, I have completed a read-through and chapter-by-chapter analysis (yes, I have a spreadsheet) using the Story Grid method mixed with some of my own ideas. I’ll give more details on what this analysis looks like next week. In the meantime, I’m ready to jump into draft four (goal: fix pacing, tension, and all the other things my alpha reader pointed out). My deadline is end of October, which is very soon, but November is NaNo, and I kinda want to do that, so . . . here goes! 😀

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