For those of you who have been regularly reading my Grimoire, you know that I’ve been writing a novel involving the same characters and world I introduced in my short story A House Off The Road.
The novel will be named The War Under. And this weekend, I finally finished the first draft. This initial draft comes in at about 92,000 words. To put that number in perspective, the minimum number of words for a novel is generally considered to be 40,000 words; the average novel in _The Seduman Chronicles_ is around 80,000 words, but the average literary novel is about 100,000 words. So this draft is a bit longer than my usual novel, but still not a long novel.
I always feel a palpable sense of accomplishment when I finish the first draft. Finally, the story exists as a thing in the world. Where there was nothing, now there is something. And that is a big deal. Its not ready for publication yet, but now I can look at my work and I can see the thing.
Getting the thing to be the polished novel that is ready for you all to read takes a number of additional steps. My process from here goes like this:
• I let the novel sit for a month or so, clearing my head so I can come back fresh. Then I revise the novel into what becomes the second draft.
• I hand the second draft out to my small team of beta readers, who return with comments, questions, and suggestions. I then edit that draft based on their responses into what becomes the third draft.
• The third draft is the one I send to my editor. She then reads it over with a fine toothed comb and returns with corrections, suggestions, problems, and so on. Her edits then inform the fourth draft.
• The fourth draft is the one that gets proofread and published. So you could call the fourth draft the final draft.
As you can see, finishing the first draft is still quite a way from being ready for you to read, so it’s still too early to know a publication date. But the first draft is far and away the most difficult and the most time-consuming part of the process, and it’s now behind me.
Since there is still quite a while until The War Under is published, I might find time to write a new short story in there. Maybe one involving my beloved Sedumen. Hmm…