That’s not entirely true. I have put in a lot of research (so. much. research) and planning hours, but no writing hours yet. I’m the type of writer that needs to sort things out before I can dive in – I need the plan outlined first. So right now it’s nailing down backstory, pre-book stuff so when I get to sections in Anywhere But Here and The Long Way Home that need to change, I’ll be good to go. I think those two books will be the easiest.
The actual Brookline series? Wow, will I have a lot to work through.
Thanks to some great comments from readers (there’s always time to chime in if you have a suggestion!), I really want to focus on more of the fish-out-of-water issues with the characters transitioning from foster care to college. Financial issues, life skills, living in an upscale area suddenly (even if it is a college campus), being unsupervised but not on the street, being around people who have no idea about their lives … they would have issues other students wouldn’t.
I also want to delve more into their actual schooling. Class friends, projects, how they’re figuring out what to do with their lives etc. Not just sorority stuff, because school was a bigger part of school for me.
I am hoping to get started with the actual rewriting part (for ABH) in February.
Cleaning up my writing also meant cleaning out in general … yes, Marie Kondo has taken over my life. I’ve done my clothes and I’m getting through papers (I swapped books/paper around). Currently I’m going through old journals to see if I should keep anything … the answer is mostly no. I have found some interesting ones from when I was in college which shows me what some of my own concerns were which has been helpful for research.
My biggest concern for the rewrite is titles. I am keeping Anywhere But Here and The Long Way Home, but I want to change the name of the main series individual books (although I’ll probably continue to call the series Brookline University … I can’t seem to stop anyway, even though I like Streetwise a lot too). I was never happy with the main series titles because so many sales platforms had a hard time dealing with their similarity. GooglePlay in particular listed all four books as “Brookline University” and you had to click around to figure out which book it actually was. I don’t want that as an issue in the future.
Since I suck at titles, feel free to toss a few my way by commenting or at @arieswriting on Twitter.