I read through my third draft, picking up more stuff along the way. The stuff keeps getting more and more trivial, but it’s real. Why did I type “here” instead of “hear” in one place? Why did I add the “ue” to “Epilogue” but not to “Prolog”? Why did I refer to the city as “Roma” everywhere but in one place, where I used “Rome”? Why did I waver between “goodbye” and “good-bye”?
More important, reading straight through let me spot places where I repeated a point I’d already made and places where I failed to make a point I wanted to make. The text feels smoother now. Somehow I managed to add another thousand words. Well, I guess I needed them.
Most important, I made final decisions about a few niggling issues that were bothering me. In a large, multi-viewpoint novel, you wonder if you have too many viewpoints, or not enough. Does the story hang together as you shift and shift and shift between viewpoints? In a novel that carries the story forward from two previous novels, have you resolved enough of the questions, have you provided satisfactory resolutions for enough of the characters?
Well, you’re never certain, but I’m pretty sure I’m done with this novel, except for a final proofing. Which means I now leave the characters, and the world, behind.
I’ll miss them.
After leaving the novel to simmer for a while while I stared at busts of Roman emperors, I’ve finally started the third draft. So far, it’s going quickly–nothing like the second draft. I think that I’ve basically gotten it right.
We’re also making progress on cover designs.
So, maybe this fall?
Appreciate the congrats, as our president would say.
It clocks in at 112K words, down about ten percent from the first draft. Yay! Lots of little stuff to take care of, but I think it’s about where it needs to be.
Its name, by the way, is Home.
In celebration, here is video of David Pastrnak’s hat trick against the Maple Leafs last night. That third goal is simply amazing.
Finally identifying a couple of chapters I could just cut entirely has certainly helped progress — it’s easier to increase a percentage by lowering the denominator!
I’ve done a lot more reorganization than usual in this rewrite; the plot just seemed to work better with a different sequence of chapters. I’ve also changed my point-of-view character a good bit, and that basically involves an entire rewrite of the scene.
Still hoping to be done with the draft by the end of April. Seems like a bit of a stretch, though.
Turns out we now have paperback versions of my very fine novels Dover Beach and The Distance Beacons. (An old, used paperback of Dover Beach is also available, but I don’t get any money when you buy one of those copies, so where’s the fun in that?) The covers look remarkably like the covers of the ebooks:
So now, along with Where All the Ladders Start, you can buy paperback versions of all three of the very fine novels in my Last P.I. series. Need I point out that a series of private eye novels set in a dystopian future after a major societal breakdown would make the perfect gift for that special someone on Valentine’s Day?
Also, I can get you these novels cheaper than you can get them from Amazon, so if you need a few, let me know.
It’s his 206th birthday, so:
Here’s some information about the painting.
I read all of Dickens’s novels when I was in college and wrote my undergraduate thesis on them. I’ve only reread a couple of them since then, but the time may be coming to dip into them again. There was no one like him.
I see that Jeff Carver has a nifty progress bar on his website. He’s up to 91% complete on the “major revisions” to his novel The Reefs of Time. Yay! I don’t know how to do that progress bar thing, but I am pleased to report that I’m about 52% complete on the second draft of my novel. (Of course, my book is about a third as long as Jeff’s, so the tasks aren’t really comparable.) I’ve also cut about 2% of the first draft, but I’m now starting to suspect that the second draft is going to end up slightly longer than the first. Where have I gone wrong?
I figure I’ll complete the second draft sometime in April, if I don’t have any more bright ideas. I’m in the middle of a bright idea right now, and it’s certainly slowing things down.
I’m about a quarter of the way through the rewrite of my novel. My goal has been to shorten it. I’m proud to say that, so far, I have shortened it by approximately zero percent. Appreciate the congrats!
I have managed to tighten a lot of the existing chapters. But it appears that I’m required to write an additional subplot. So that isn’t helping. I think I may be stuck at around 123,000 words. Still seems like too many to me.
Also, I’ve changed the title. But maybe I need to change it again.
All in all, things are going well.
Today I cut a scene from my novel. This feels good–fewer words! A more streamlined story! This feels bad–those were good words! They added depth and texture to the story!
What’s a writer to do?
To make up for it, I added a scene. Also, I changed the name of the novel.
Am I making progress? Do I get to watch the Patriots’ game as a reward?
The second draft got underway this weekend. Characters who showed up two-thirds of the way through the first draft now begin the novel–the first of many ways in which I will address my future-perfect comments littered throughout the text:
“I will have have to set up this scene earlier.”
“This character will have a different name in the second draft.”
“Need to have a better explanation for this behavior.”
This is the good stuff.