I haven’t posted anything here for a while. What’s been happening?
How’s the book going? Well, I’ll tell you, right after I show you:
436 pages, nearly 106,000 words. All of them need to be edited.
Well, I can’t officially say that, as the draft is still getting overhauled, but I’m coming up for air for a moment to say that yes, the second draft is about an hour away from being finished. This means it’s on to Draft Three from there.
Yes, that’s UP from 101,000 words the first time out. I wrote an entirely new chapter and expanded on some other ones, to punch up the action or to add clarity to what had been happening, etc. After this draft is done, it has to be printed for hard copy review (and red-penning to death) which will take nearly a ream of paper, as noted above.
It’s still not time to declare myself an author or query agents. FYI.
I will close by saying that I really, really, like these characters. I was editing an earlier chapter and the characters felt like a comfortable pair of shoes, or broken-in jeans. I read the words on the page and they just felt right. In need of editing, sure, but the essence, man, the essence! It felt bittersweet to reach the end once more. I can’t wait to experience them again in book two. Gotta get this one done, first.
Now that the book has been officially written, in that there’s a first draft and I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty that I know how it ends, I took a few days off before working on round two: Formatting, rewriting, and editing.
Yeah, yeah, here I go with the blur-o-vision again. And no, the page “shown” isn’t formatted properly. That’s just where I left off when I made the screen grab.
As of 3:20 PM, Eastern Time, on May 30, 2017, two months from the official start of this process, the initial draft of what I hope to be my first published novel is complete.
I cried so hard, you guys. I guess this is the male equivalent to birthing babies. I can see now why rejection letters are taken so personally.
Now begins the next phase of the operation: Formatting, editing, and punch-up.
I feel like I just lost fifty pounds.
/sinks back in chair
PS: I spent the money and upgraded to Genuine Word. Much, much, much better.
So, this happened:
Our duct-taped Chromebook has been replaced with a refurbished HP laptop. Thanks to the vagaries of technology, I think they ended up costing the same years apart. The HP is much more loaded, and HUGE.
According to the free word processing program that came bundled on the laptop, I already was over the 80,000 word count threshold, and am now in the 90,000s. I have no idea what to believe anymore. The formula of 150x(number of pages) says I’m at roughly 40,000. Who knows. Not me! (I really don’t how if you have to really crank up the margins for that formula to be relevant. I dare say a standard Word document holds far more than 150 words per page.)
I’m closer to the finish line. I have a clear stopping point, then it’s onward to polish the manuscript and prepare it for shopping around. I have every intention of continuing the story into at least one more book. Depending on what happens I may start making the Book Two draft while working on finalizing Book One. Much depends on much.
Anyway, the feedback from some additional readers has been encouraging, and I’m really hoping I’ve got something legit here. I’m starting to allow myself the luxury of imagining the book in print as a hardcover. This is a huge no-no, but as a thought exercise I am thinking about what the cover art would entail. That’s not for me to say, however. But it’s heady.
Off to dream of hardcover first editions…
So, how’s the book coming along?
Well, it is said that novel-length writing starts in the area of 80,000 words.
/runs word counter
I set a stretch goal of May 31 to finish the bare-bones rough draft. I’m on pace to meet that goal. I’m looking forward to punching up/editing the copy and formatting it for publishing.