Where we are & what comes next.
In a world full of things I never seem to get around to doing (or finishing), it’s nice to be able to point to things that actually represent progress.
A progress report on book 2 would look something like this:
- First draft: finished.
- Second draft: 85% finished (though I’m adding a couple of new bits, so that percentage should probably be a little bit lower. They’re not very big bits.)
- First person-who’s-not-me read-through of the second draft: 25% done. Ish.
- Title: Exists. Whether or not it will stick, I don’t know. It has so far. (I’m probably fooling myself if I think I could change it at this point. The gnomes delivered it, and they apparently write everything in stone.)
- There’s a plan for a thing. The plan for this thing has always been planned, but it wasn’t planned in detail. I’ve been running head-first into a wall for months trying to execute the second stage of this plan. I was starting to think that it was never the plan that I thought it was. Perhaps it was just unchecked insanity. Thankfully, the brain gnomes special-delivered an explanation: the plan is great, but I suck. Then they explained why I suck. And I had to hand it to them — they hit the nail on the head. I was literally missing a mistake so obvious that it was painful, and that single mistake was sabotaging the entire plan. The second stage came together rapidly after that. Say what you will about the brain gnomes, they can get shit done. They’re just really mean about it.
So, what’s next? This is where it gets a little more iffy.
After the second draft, there will be a third. What happens after that depends on where we think we are at that point. If there’s clearly more work to be done, there will be more drafts. If we can’t find anything else to hack apart, we’ll solicit people for an editing/advanced reader group. (More like an advanced-advanced reader group.) It’ll be a small group, but just how small depends on how many people are willing/able to a) read the book on a deadline, b) give feedback, and c) sign a contract in blood that binds them to secrecy at peril of their mortal souls. Or at peril of a good shin-kicking. Something like that.
After that, we’ll advance to a final draft, probably passing through some additional ones along the way. Once we have a final-final draft (as final as it ever gets), I start doing some final formatting and typesetting for the eBook and paperback, a process that involves arcane rituals, demon-infested software, and the loss of copious amounts of hair. A final cover will be produced at some point, but not until after we know exactly how many pages the paperback will be. Then we’ll schedule a release date and send out copies to another advanced reader group, this one designed to just give some people the chance to read it early and hopefully review it when it launches.
I have skipped some steps. Like the bit where I read and re-read the thing so many times that I lose all ability to be even mildly objective about how much it sucks. Or the bit where I start having nightmares about being chased by angry villagers for creating a terrible word-monster that’s eating all of their clean socks. Or the bit where I start obsessing over individual pixels. Or the bit where we start nagging people about it. (Yes, I know it’s called “promoting”, but let’s face it, it feels like nagging. Or maybe whining. “Oh, please read my book, kind people, pleeeease…”)
Then we launch.
And then I start the process all over again with book three.
Anyone who thinks that this crap is just about having fun is out of their ever-loving minds.
Maybe it’s better when one has a proper muse. Unfortunately, all I have is this infestation of gnomes. Those nasty little buggers seem to think that they’re the only ones who are allowed to have fun around here.