Lessons From My Works-In-Progress #4: The Assassin's Daughter

Each month, I’ll be featuring a different WIP. All projects featured have at least one completed draft and are of novella or novel length.

After a break for the holidays and then a slight delay, this month’s installment is finally here! This is the WIP I talk about most often on the blog (and pretty much anywhere else), and it’s also been through more drafts than anything else I’ve written so far. Let’s take a look at some of its history!

  • The Assassin’s Daughter
Seven drafts completed.

The Assassin’s Daughter started out as a single scene: A character being chased. I had no idea why until the scene was drafted, and then I set the scene aside as nothing more than a scribble. I had NaNo 2010 to plan for, after all. But after completing my NaNo novel, I came back to the scene and decided to figure out the history behind what was happening in it. Why was Kat being chased? What was the reason behind the ultimatum she was given by the character chasing her? The scene turned into a 30K first draft over the next few months, and has been one of my main projects ever since.

The first draft of The Assassin’s Daughter.

What I Learned:
  • How to mix first- and third-person POV, and then how to completely rewrite all of it into third-person during revisions. 
  • How to write a series outline. By the time I had drafted a few chapters of The Assassin's Daughter, it became a series idea (initially two books, then three).
  • How to create a major revisions progress (and my color-coded editing method).

Meet the Characters:
  • Seventeen.
  • Assassin’s apprentice
  • Wishful.
  • Spends a good deal of time wondering what life would be like if certain events had never occurred.

  • Seventeen.
  • Kat’s teammate.
  • Disillusioned.
  • Resigned to circumstances, but he is not always pleased with them.
What are some of your favorite lessons from your works-in-progress?