Progress: 142,653 words, Thirteen Chapters (All Second Draft)
It’s day 1076, nearly 3 years since writing my first words of Father’s Creed. Let that settle in.
I’ve never worked on a project that has spanned such a length of time. Granted, there is a large division between days working on the project and days total from its inception. It’s been approximately one and a half years since I last made changes or even notes for this novel, so it is a bit misleading to say this has been a 3-year undertaking. However, time apart from the novel was included in my plan for completion, which means I consider each day a part of the whole effort.
The scheduled time away from Father’s Creed was for a mental break, not from writing, but from the characters and story that were so deeply ingrained in my thoughts. To truly force this notion, I decided to write a second novel, one where the story was so polar opposite of historical fiction that I couldn’t possibly drift back to that world. That book is currently entitled Spread (formerly Ghost City), and it is likely to receive another title change.
I completed a first draft of Spread, in large part during NaNoWriMo, and that novel now sits on the virtual shelf while I once again return to Father’s Creed.
Draft 3 is already underway. I’ve completed handwritten notes on each chapter, pinpointing cuts, scene rearrangements, and fresh takes, including a new ending and a removal of the postface. Beta readers helped guide many draft 3 decisions. My aim overall is to slim it down, quicken the pace, leaving only what is necessary to effectively tell this tale.
In draft two, I added 25k words. A goal for draft 3 is to remove nearly as many. Sadly, the undo button isn’t going to be the hero in that task. The thousands of words I want to remove will come from large cuts, but also in tiny bites, one or two extra words from sentences throughout the novel’s entirety.
I wish this draft were only a matter of taking my notes and transcribing them to the document. There is more work to be done, however. Despite that, the book feels closer to done, and I know very soon, (relative to the 3 years involved), I will be handing this book off to someone else. If I can negotiate an affordable rate, I owe it to myself and my potential agent/publisher to make that next person a copy editor. I’ve been diligent in finding and correcting errors, but fresh eyes are better (assuming I find the right pair).
There are new phases in my novel-writing journey ahead, and all will be documented in this blog, as I’ve always intended. I look forward to the experience, and sharing that experience with you.
Happy writing, everyone!
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