This isn’t “made the cut” as in “got selected.” This is “made the cut” as in, I did finally cut Brotherhood back to the last point where I felt really good about the story. I’ve referenced it on Twitter a little the past few days.

Basically, I took the story back to the point where Doéna and Lorien are introduced to Evening Court. This was the point where the story started to get bloated and long-winded. I had to change a few things in the preceding scenes to make things gel with the new plot cards I developed from that point.

Getting the original plot cards up to the point where I cut was relatively easy. Since I use Scrivener, I simply opened the old outline in the left side of the screen and, after discovering the “Duplicate” option by right-clicking, I copied the card, closed it for further editing since the new card is open for editing, and moved it over to the new outline and put it where it belonged. Did this with about 15 or 16 scenes. I’m now up to a total of about 20 plot cards, only a few of them new.

From here, I hope to write richer scenes with more happening in them. This is requiring more thought prior to writing out the plot cards. I’m having to dredge up what I know of the story’s future events from my mind and may resort to the original manuscript to keep track of things, if I just don’t go through it and make notes from it at some point.

There are several things I need to set up, not the least of which is Karé’s influence in Court. I’m beginning to think he’s learned how to function in the Imperial Court—it makes no sense for him not to be smart enough to have figured things out. That won’t mean he still won’t try to force my MCs into rash actions, it’ll just mean he’ll have a firmer connection to Court and the influence he claims he actually has. Another thing I need to work on is making Lorien less easy to deal with. I don’t want to fiddle with his cooperativeness too much, but I do need to have him act less willing to do so more often; his reluctance will definitely color how Doéna responds to Bréyan’s advances, and I need to make that situation more intense for Doéna. What I had in the previous manuscript kind of fell flat. I also need to make the whole marriage between Lorien and Necée more difficult for Doéna to deal with—mainly due to the couple’s reluctance to cooperate with each other, and I think I’m going to change things a little, so Doéna doesn’t realize the princess’s perfidy until he’s told by someone. I may still have the Empress, Necée’s mother, do this, but it may make more sense for someone else, possibly even Karé, just to insert doubt, to do this.

Overall, I feel much better about Brotherhood now. I feel more confident in the story, and I like what I have better. I’m glad I cut it even though it wasn’t finished. It’ll be better this new way I’m writing it.