Everyone has a certain process they use for writing. I’m not much of a planner; I’m very character driven, and usually let my characters drive the story instead of allowing the plot to drive them. Great for getting through first drafts quickly, but not so great for creating stories that have well-crafted plots.

In my recent rewriting of my trilogy, I’ve compiled all of the major plot points that came up in each first, very character-driven drafts. I’ve refined the plot devices, changed how certain events come to be, expanded parts, shortened others. I’ve made countless notes, living outlines, Scrivener projects, and story vomited to friends and family alike, whenever the urge struck.

I want the strongest trilogy possible. I want things to stay as true to my vision as possible, and to my characters as possible, and let them live through the words I put on the page. I want to do their world justice, want to paint a picture of it in the mind’s eyes for the all of 10 people who may one day read it.

This is my baby. My pet project. Jazz and Savin are parts of me. So are Mitchel, Mari, Ryin, Jordine, Ravi — they’re all important to me, and they deserve to have the best damn story I can ever tell. But I also know that this set of rewrites? They’re going to be the last. I can play in this world forever, come up with various back story pieces and even expand on the worlds of Hooba, Mirk, and the colony Asmeos, if I gave myself the chance.

And one day, I will. I will, but I need to tell Jazz and Savin’s story first. Because ultimately, the Trilogy is about them, about their relationship, how it starts, how it progresses, how it falls, and how it almost, almost pieces itself back together. There just isn’t enough time for them to. Not with the horrible things Savin does partway through Gray Morning, things that ultimately drive Jazz away and into the arms of another man. It’s hard, reconciling what I see and hear and having to commit it to paper.

I’ve been doing part of the Gray Morning rewrite because it began speaking to me. I hadn’t yet figured out a lot of the changes I wanted to make, except to this one sequence of events. It’s resulting in a stronger character arc — in the sense that Savin’s downward spiral is both way more believable AND way worse than it was before.

I saw him push Jazz up against a wall. I saw him essentially sexually assault his own husband, clearly with the intent to take it a step further. It doesn’t get that far, because Jazz fights back, and Jazz’s physical retaliation is startling enough to snap Savin partially back to reality. But it was a sequence of events I very clearly saw.

I hear dialogue all the time. It’s not always right, but the gist of it usually is. But things I see? They’re right. Always. There are people who say that they hear their characters speak to them — I definitely do. But when I see the events playing out in my head like a movie? Gospel fucking truth.

So when I clearly saw what Savin did (and how Jazz retaliated — with an eventual punch to the face), I mourned. How the hell am I going to make Savin anywhere near remotely redeemable? Then I realized probably not. With the way Gray Morning pans out, there’s really just no way. Jazz will have moved on but will still have to come back — all in an effort to warn Savin of the Resistance being involved right underneath his nose. But there still will be hard feelings between them, and I think maybe Jazz works his way towards forgiving him for what he’s done, but them salvaging their relationship? Not likely.

I’ve posted snippets taking place both before and after The Assault (as I’ve termed the event in my head). I haven’t posted anything from the actual assault just yet because it pains me to have to admit that this happened, that this is a thing, that it’s canon, that Savin really can BE that awful.

Instead of my daily report tonight, I will post it. I have to own this sequence of events, and accept that my characters, even the ones I love and have loved for years, can do awful, terrible things.