A few minutes ago, I typed the last words in Until All Bonds Are Broken, the sequel to Until All Curses Are Lifted. After a marathon day of writing here on New Year’s Eve, I wrote over 6,000 words and finished the first draft.
And there was much rejoicing.
So what does this mean, exactly? Especially if you’re a reader eagerly anticipating this book? Well, sadly, it does NOT mean you’re about to get your hands on it. A first draft is just that: a first draft. You wouldn’t want to read it right now. Trust me. Parts of it wouldn’t even make sense.
I need to get through one complete editing process and partial re-write before I even let a handful of people look it over. Here are a few examples of what still needs to be done, before I can even call this a mostly complete book:
• I have to arrange the scenes into proper chapters. You know how there are multiple stories going on with different character points-of-view? I have to arrange them so they make sense.
• I have places where I left off some detailed description because I was in a hurry and needed to keep moving at the time. So there are places where the text reads something like [insert description here].
• Some times, I didn’t come up with proper names for minor characters or places while writing. Since there are multiple cultures involved in the world of Antises, each name has to be consistent from a linguistic point of view, and that takes time to work out. So many places in the current draft, you’ll find placeholder names like VILLAGENAME or VILLAGEIDIOT. (Okay, I didn’t use that one, but I should have.)
• I know of at least three scenes that I need to go back and add, places where I realized later that I needed more development of a particular event or character.
• While writing, I often think of things I need to check on or revise. But rather than stopping the writing and going back to revise things, I add the thought to a list. I have a very lengthy list of these revisions that I already know I need to do. Actually, I have two of those lists: one on my computer with the book itself, and one on my phone, from when I thought of things while away from the computer (or in the middle of the night).
• Some characters need their arcs fleshed out a bit better. I need to re-read all of their appearances and make sure everything flows properly, so as to create the best emotional resonance toward the end of the book.
The book currently stands at 124,413 words. That’s around 16,000 words shorter than the first book. But after making all the revisions I listed above, I’m sure it’ll get much closer to that amount, or even exceed it. Then comes more detailed editing process, where things may get deleted or re-arranged or expanded, so the final word count could be anywhere from 110,000 to 150,000.
So… in a few days, after I relax a bit, I’ll return to this manuscript and start on the revisions I know about. I’ll call this the second draft, and the slider on the right will reflect that. After that, I’ll look for opinions from a few trusted people I know, then make more revisions. An editor will look at it. I’ll make more revisions. And then comes proofreading. And more proofreading. And yet more proofreading.
In case it’s not obvious, this also is a months-long process. I can’t tell you for sure when the book will be in your hands. But I’m hoping for the end of summer or thereabouts.
Until then… Happy New Year, everyone!