After two solid months of key-hammering, the first draft of Curse Servant is complete, and has been subjected to a thorough acid-wash of revisions. The second draft is now in the hands of my alpha reader (read: my wife), who is adept at picking out loose threads, plot holes, and other embarrassing yet inescapable elements of early drafts. Once that’s done and I have a third draft in-hand, I’ll be farming it out to beta readers. It’s a lot of tire-kicking, and once that’s complete I’m still going to secure the services of a professional editor. Why? Because this is serious business to me, and I want the product to be as ship-shape and Bristol-fashion as I can manage.
In the meantime, I find myself in the lull during which the readers do their thing and I, as the author, do my thing. Typically this includes some down-time, perhaps catching up on my brewing or convincing our new dog not to chew my fingers directly off.
This time, however, I’ve skipped that between-projects-pause entirely. Why? Well, the astute blog follower will recall something I’ve been obtusely referring to as Top Secret Manuscript. This is the novel I began last year shortly after I wrapped up Curse Merchant. I had to put it on pause once the marketing push for Merchant began. Then, when the plot of Curse Servant landed in my frontal lobes, I elected to continue said pause in order to push on with Dorian’s sequel.
The time has come. Top Secret Manuscript is back on track! It’s a strange experience coming back to a work in progress. I typically insist on completing a full draft of a novel before returning to the output with a revising eye, but this was an exception. I had to re-read what was written in order to bring myself back to speed. And in doing so, I found some truly sharp edges that needed a good rasping. One thing led to another, and now I’m back into outlining the novel. It’s all a very good process for me, as I’m hoping this manuscript turns into something I can run past a literary agent.
In the meantime, this dog is eyeballing my ankles with sadistic intensity, so I’m going to hop back into the writing dungeon before I lose another pint of blood.