Month: January 2016

Second Pass

Last week I was working on the second draft of Shapes, this week I have been fixing up Livia for preview publication.

The goal with Livia was always to write a book using some ideas from my colleagues and donate it to the company library at my day job. I’m calling this “preview publication” because to my surprise Livia has legs to become a book I try to sell, and possibly turn into a series.

After the frenzy of word production in November, I prepped the first draft and issued it to readers. I’ve been receiving feedback on that version of the book, so it’s time to pick up the text and make the book better.

The goals here are more structural than last time:

  • do the characters make sense?
  • is the setting well enough explained?
  • are there any bits that are missing?
  • are there any unnecessary parts?

I did a little of this in December when I was fixing up typoes, but I have more distance from the book now, as well as the reader feedback. I expect I will add more words.

Then it’s on to copy editing and finishing the cover design, before wading into the world of POD publishing (topics for another time!).

It’s all rather exciting.

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I’ve had more than one novel on the go ever since my second year of NaNoWriMo, when I put down the vampire story I was working on from the previous year and wrote the 50,000 word prĂ©cis of the Kissiltur trilogy*.

2015 was the year I wrote most of the second draft of Shapes of Chance, and then I decided to write two novels simultaneously for MaNoWriMo. This act of performance stunt writing means that I now have four novels in active development:

  • A Turquoise Song – first draft in November 2011, second draft completed in November 2014. Second draft remains unread, but I think about this story all the time.
  • Shapes of Chance – first draft written in November 2013, second draft about 75% complete (I’ve consumed 85% of the outline, but I need to write a lot of new words for the later scenes which means there is more than 15% of the work left)
  • Perscon – first draft written in November 2015, as yet unread
  • Livia and the Corpuscles – first draft written in November 2015, read and typo corrected.

I’ve been working on Shapes again this January while I have been waiting for feedback on Livia, but I will be picking that up again in a few days to turn it into a second draft strong enough to be printed out and donated to the day job company library.

All of this chopping and changing reminds me of the computing term RAID which, when it was first coined, meant Redundant Array of Inexpensive Discs.

What I have in the list above is a Redundant Array of Incomplete Novels.

[*] the Kissiltur trilogy is in abeyance at the moment, possibly even more than the vampire story. The superhero horror story I wrote after both of those two turned out very very badly – still a story I want to tell, but not like that.

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