Seconds ago I finished putting the pen and ink revisions into the Word file. Thus, Draft #5 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series is finished!
I started this draft on 6/22/20, so it’s been some month and about a half that it took me to do this draft, minus the slightly more than a week I was off flying.
When I get to the point where I’m finishing off drafts in a month’s time -and I strongly suspect Draft #6 will take no more than a month- then we’re damn near the end.
Honestly, though, I thought I’d finish this draft yesterday, Sunday the 9th.
It didn’t happen because when I finished a section close to the end of the novel on Friday, I felt there needed to be more work done on it. These pages, which amounted to some 13 or so, were critical for understanding what was going on and, frankly, I felt they needed more work.
Rather than continue and get back to those pages with the full Draft #6, I printed them out and on Saturday read through them, pen and ink revised them, then jumped on the computer and essentially completed a Draft #5B on those pages.
I think I cleaned them up well, but it was a day spent going over something again rather than moving ahead and finishing up. Between Sunday and Monday (today), I did just that.
We’re getting there, folks.
Let’s see how long it takes me to do Draft #6, shall we?
I’ve been rather busy the last few days with various things that needed to be done and the rest of this week looks like it might be busy as well on things other than my reading/revision of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series.
These are the types of bumps in the road that piss me off, frankly, when working on my novels but they always seem to come and they always seem to show up on the worst possible times.
Writing a novel is often an exercise in persistence. Just coming up with a decent first draft takes a hell of a lot of energy and patience on my part but then come the multiple revisions which are -again for me- absolutely indispensable to getting one’s novel ready for release.
Right now I’m reading and revising the latest draft, #5, and I’m roughly a quarter of the way through reading it and almost a quarter of the way through putting those revisions on the computer. Because I knew my time might be limited and because the novel has three distinct opening sections before getting into the meat of the story (not really much of a spoiler, but there you have a bit!), I read and then cleaned up the first two segments on the computer and finished reading and putting in the pen and ink revisions on that third segment but have yet to transfer those revisions to the computer.
Its worth noting there was a lot to fix up in the second segment and it is done, both pen and ink and computer transfer, at this point. The third segment required some work but not a whole lot and so far the “meat” of the story is going along pretty easily.
I don’t know if that will remain the case. In fact, I suspect toward the climax/end of the book there will be some things that will require my attention, but at least so far I’m pretty pleased that despite the things that are robbing me of my time, the revision is proceeding well and I feel that the novel should be ready pretty soon.
First: I haven’t been posting as much as usual of late and I do apologize for that.
The reason is pretty simple: I’ve been laser focused on Draft #4 of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series…
Today -just a couple of hours ago, in fact!- I finished putting the last of the corrections into the novel’s Word file and will print the whole think out this evening and very shortly start up Draft #5.
Draft #4, as I look back on it now, was a watershed revision. What I mean by that is that this Draft felt like a very in depth, top-to-bottom revision which caught most of the important elements I needed to address in the book and fixed them. Hopefully, in completing this Draft, and until I get my fingers more into Draft #5, I feel like I’m very close to the point where I can focus entirely on how the story is told versus what I’m telling, and whether all the creative elements are in their proper place.
Looking back a little further, I regret my decision to do Draft #3 completely on the computer rather than as I usually do it, ie printing it out, reading the print out, and adding the voluminous corrections by pen on the pages themselves before going to the computer and putting those corrections in.
Which is, of course, what I did with Draft #4.
Mind you, I’m not saying the way I did Draft #3 was a total waste of time -it most certainly was not!- but given how early in the drafting process I was, I mistakenly felt I had advanced much further than I was. Therefore the corrections made for Draft #3, while they certainly moved the proverbial ball forward, in retrospect feel like they were pretty minor compared to the near total overhaul I did with Draft #4.
What pleases me the most now that I’ve finished Draft #4 is that the story elements are by and large where I think they need to be. There might still be some additions I’ll make -there often are!- but truthfully it feels like this book is very close to being done.
I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll repeat it again: For the last few novels and for whatever reason it has taken me 12 Drafts -not 11 and not 13- to get my novels to where I’m comfortable releasing them.
Not so with this book.
I believe when I’m done with Draft #5 I’ll be very close to the end. I will very likely need to do a Draft #6 but, after that, I can see myself finishing this off with either the 7th or 8th Draft.
This time around I either got really lucky and hit upon the plot quickly or I’m growing as a writer and don’t need to spend as much time in the earlier stages getting the book’s plot settled.
Regardless, I still feel like this is a book I can finish by the end of Summer or, unless some other problems arise, early in Fall.
I’m incredibly proud of this book and think it’s a wonderful addition to the Corrosive Knights series. I know Book #7, Legacy of the Argus, was presented as a conclusion to the major Corrosive Knights series and it remains so… but this new book, while not necessarily opening a whole new story line in this universe, adds an intriguing new piece.
In that time, I’ve done a read-through and pen/ink revision of the book and today have turned to putting all my notes/changes/corrections into the Word copy I have.
There are quite a few things to fix!
Having said that, most of it is grammatical/spelling/ease of reading type corrections. That’s not to say, though, that the story is “locked in” yet.
There were also a few parts that required some reworking and/or expansion along with those simpler to fix clarifications.
Having said that (redux), I’m very happy with the overall place I’m at with this novel. I strongly suspect once I’ve put those corrections into the book, I’ll be very near the end of this work.
Like, really near.
And we’re on Draft #4 here and for my last several books, I’ve had to go through 12 Drafts before feeling these books were ready to be released!
I don’t want to get too ahead of myself because you never know how things will work out. Perhaps when I’m done with putting these revisions into the computer and I’m starting up Draft #5 I may find some really big problems that need to be addressed and they may require even more work to fix.
It’s certainly possible… but not super likely.
No, I’m happy with what I’ve written to date. I feel I’ve created a damn good story to follow up Legacy of the Argus. While it isn’t the promised “Epilogue” story, I feel it is a pretty damn strong story set in the Corrosive Knights universe which will, hopefully, be a great standalone story for anyone who wanders into my works and picks it up without reading the others but will also feeding the mythology I’ve built and be a satisfying addition to the saga for those who have read the other books.
I’m once again in a familiar position: Eager to get these revisions finished up as quickly as I can and excited by the prospect of getting that much closer to actually releasing a new book.
It’s a good one and I can’t wait to see what everyone out there thinks of it!
I printed the book out last week and started the process of reading and revising it.
Unlike the previous draft, this time around I wanted to do my revisions on the printed out book versus doing them directly on the computer (ie, using Word).
Does it make a difference?
For me, the answer is yes.
I don’t know why but when I have a physical copy of a novel before me, versus looking at the same thing on a computer screen, I seem to have access to/a clearer view of the novel and its story in its entirety.
While last time I went ahead and did the revisions completely on the computer, the fact of the matter is it was an experiment on my part and the first time I did a “full” revision that way versus printing out everything and revision with pen and then putting the revisions in the computer.
While I do believe the previous (all computer) draft moved the proverbial football forward, the experiment, I feel in retrospect, wasn’t a total success and I should stick with my preference of printing out the work and doing the revisions on the printed pages.
Please note: This is my preference and I’m certain other authors have theirs but for me, I will continue to print the whole thing out and revise the work that way from here on in.
Having said all that, let us get to the good stuff!
My update for today is: I’m just a tiny bit shy of halfway through the book and while there are things I need to fix up, at least for this half of the book, I seem to be moving into the grammatical/spelling area versus the active creative writing.
This is significant -and pardon me if I’m repeating myself as I am certain I have written about this before with previous books- because when I’m happy with the story as written and feel there is not much more to add, things tend to move quickly once I am in the grammatical/spelling focus. Indeed, when my sole preoccupation is to make the story read well versus coming up with new scenarios/story ideas , things move much more quickly to their end.
Having said all that, a word of caution: I am just shy of 1/2 way through the book. There is quite a bit of story still in front of me and we will see how that plays out and whether that half requires more creative writing than the first half.
Having said all that (redux), I still feel I’m ahead of schedule with regard to finishing this novel versus previous works.
While there were several false starts early on which cost me many months of work (ouch), once I found my direction it seemed like things fell into place a lot easier than they have with other novels.
It could be a sign of my growth as a writer or it could be that this time around I “got lucky” in that the plot worked itself out easier than before.
Either way, I remain optimistic this novel can be finished up in/around the end of Summer.
On April the 14th, 2020, I printed out the latest copy of my latest Corrosive Knights novel, Book #8…
Last time I wrote an update about this book (you can read it here) it was April 29th and I was roughly 1/2 way through the revision process and…
…I was feeling a bit down.
Frankly, I was a little disappointed by the progress of the 3rd Draft revision and the realization of how much I still had to “fix” or “rewrite” before finishing up that draft.
Sometimes, the amount of work you have to still do gets to you.
Especially when what you thought would be a quick turnaround becomes longer and more involved. When there’s that much more work involved, it has a way of wearing you down.
Just as one has their good and bad days, so too do I have my ups and downs with the writing process.
Today, I put the finishing touches on Draft #3 of Book #8 and… I’m really happy with what I’ve got here.
Yeah, it turned out I had to put in extra efforts and some things I thought were damn good/didn’t need much work did, but as I sit here today after finishing writing what is effectively a new Epilogue to the book (and a much shorter one, to boot), and as I look back in my rear view mirror at the work I’ve put into this book and where it stands today versus in mid-April…
Things are looking pretty damn good.
I like what I have and what I have, I feel, is really close to being done.
I’ve mentioned it before: On average I’ve found myself going through 12 Drafts with my latest batch of novels. A strange number, I grant you, and it seemed that was the amount -not 11, not 13- that needed to be done before my books were “ready” to be released.
Even as I started up the 3rd draft of this current novel, I felt like it was closer to being complete than those other novels. Much, much closer given the fact that we were so early into the revision process.
I even mused in previous posts that maybe this book would take only 5 or so drafts before it was ready. A remarkable turnaround from 12!
still feel like I won’t be needing 12 drafts to complete this book. In fact, I’m confident enough to say that I won’t need anywhere near that amount.
However, I’m not so sure 5 drafts will do it either.
Tomorrow I plan to print out the current draft and begin the process of reading and revising it and thus starting Draft #4 of the book. When I’m done with this draft, I’ll be, I feel, damn close to finishing up this novel.
At the very least, the book will be that much closer to complete.
However, I think I’ll need at least 2 or 3 more drafts after this next one, which means that if I’m now on #4, we’re looking at finishing up with Draft #6 or 7, and there is obviously no guarantee things might drag a little beyond that, too.
Having said that, each new draft should take me less and less time to finish up and whether I’m done with Draft #6, 7, or (baring any problems I find along that way) #8 or above, there is a good chance I may be finished with this novel by the end of Summer.
We’re obviously still a long way from there and my next update, when I’m finished -or near finished- with Draft #4 should give me an even clearer idea of where I stand.
It’s been roughly two weeks (actually, just a little shy of that) since my last update (you can read it here) and I figured it was time to give a new update.
So I printed out the latest Corrosive Knights novel, #8, and decided this time around I’d do something different with the revision of draft #3 of the book: Instead of reading through the printed copy of it, writing up a bunch of corrections, then going to the computer and putting them into a new copy, I’d strike while the proverbial iron is hot and just read and revise the book on the computer simultaneously.
I didn’t know how it would work out.
On the one hand, printing the book out and revising the printed work allows me to more easily flip back and forth through the pages, sometimes even quite literally cutting up pieces of a page here and there and taping it to another section. This sounds dreadfully low tech and it is, but lining up all the “cut” pieces does allow you to look them over better than the way it is presented on the computer screen, at least for me!
On the other hand, because much of what I wrote I felt was pretty good as it was, I found there were sections I was able to whiz through, making my corrections as I found the “errors” and not wasting as much time as I might have.
But, in the end, have I saved time? I haven’t finished the third draft yet. In fact, I’m roughly 1/2 of the way through the thing but do feel the second half is a lot stronger/better developed than the first half, which did require some big changes. Bigger changes = more rewriting/new writing = more time.
If I had printed the whole thing out and revised it first, would I today be done with the read through and placement of corrections on paper? Would I now be entering the revisions on the computer stage?
Or is it possible I’d still be reading the printed out stuff and working on fixes?
Hard to say, really.
But it does bring me to the inevitable reality check one seems to always face: As optimistic as you may be about your work (and in that last post I wrote I was damned optimistic about how things were going), one shouldn’t get too excited -as I admit I did- about where things are because when you get to the next revision and it turns out what you have isn’t quite as great as you thought it was, it can really take the proverbial wind out of your sails.
Mind you, I wasn’t entirely wrong in my last post. I do still feel this book is further along than the others I’ve written. For a third draft, it is remarkably “complete”, story wise. This in turn means I’ll be getting that much quicker to the stage of dealing with grammatical/writing issues, rather than dealing with the more time consuming creative writing stuff.
Yet I’d be lying if I said that the work I’ve done in the last two weeks didn’t do just that: Deflate my sails just a little.
As I said, I’m halfway through the book right now and I’ve done a lot of fixing up, especially in the very early going of the book. I still feel there is some work to be done there but I don’t want to get totally bogged down with fixing every little detail at this point.
Part of the revision process involves assimilating the entire novel into your mind, realizing how one detail leads to the next and the next and the next. Sometimes something that happens on page 6 of the book becomes important on page 106.
So I plow along, fixing the big stuff while slowly memorizing almost every element of the story. I suppose its not unlike an actor memorizing a play, only in this case I memorize not just one role, but all of them.
When one has a clearer global view of the book, from page 1 to the very end, one then knows the actions on that theoretical page 6 should go this way or that. You maximize the elements, whether it be dialogue or action, so that when you get to the theoretical payoff or reference to that action/dialogue on page 106, you hope everything is there for the readers to make that connection.
Hopefully by the very end, when your reader gets to that last page and it all comes to an end, every plot point or bit of dialogue made sense and led you to that very ending and you close the book (or turn off your Kindle app) with a satisfied smile on your face.
In the very end, I am to make you as a reader satisfied.
As I wrote before a few days ago, if there is any upside to this whole Coronavirus mess its that with the “free” time I’ve come into I’m able to focus a lot more on my writing and have put in many more hours doing so of late.
On Monday, the 13th of April, I finished the 2nd full draft of Book #8 in the Corrosive Knights series.
And I’m damn happy with the end results!
Usually when I get to the end of a second draft of any of my novels, I’m still a pretty long way from having what I consider a “complete” draft. I might have quite a bit of the plot to sort through or there might be big chunks or pieces missing. Hell, there might be quite a bit to re-do, story wise, before heading to the later stages/drafts which require more grammatical review than anything else.
Welp, in this case I feel like I’ve gotten most of the story elements done. There are a few things that need to be smoothed over and/or expanded upon, but the story, beginning, middle, and conclusion, are effectively finished…
…and to my liking!
I truly believe I’m one more draft away from having all the story elements in their place and perhaps another two or three drafts away from being done with the book entirely!
In other words, I might be done with this book by Draft #5 versus my usual twelve drafts…!
Needless to say, I’m very excited because I can envision -provided no pitfalls appear along the way- being done with this book by either the middle or late summer versus toward the end of the year.
Obviously things could change and dramatically but I’m excited with where I’m at today.
Yesterday, I printed the whole thing out and starting today or tomorrow I’m going to start the revision.
Let’s see how quickly I make it through Draft #3, shall we?
If there’s one thing going through this current Coronavirus isolation has helped its my writing.
With no where to go and keeping our outdoor excursions (usually to get groceries or some such), there is plenty of free time for me to sit in front of the computer and bang away at my latest Corrosive Knights novel.
Of late -and I hope I’m not jinxing myself- I’ve been on a bit of a creative tear, over halfway through the second full draft of the book and feeling pretty positive about what I’ve written.
Like, really positive.
If you’ve read any of my previous Corrosive Knights novel updates, I often wrote about the painstaking effort it took to make each book, going over line after line, paragraph after paragraph, chapter after chapter, revising and re-revising, often going some 12 drafts before feeling the novel is good enough to be released.
But this book… I don’t know.
It feels like the elements are all there, coming into focus much better/quicker than ever before. While getting that first draft took a really long time -I’m roughly 1 year and three months into writing this book- it feels as I write this second draft that things are clicking much better.
What got me hung up was that I had a mis-start, thinking I’d be making the fabled Epilogue book. Welp, I worked on that for a while before I started to move into another direction and, eventually, I realized I wasn’t interested in doing that Epilogue and instead began writing a whole new novel.
And it was difficult to do so for a while but, as I was finishing up that first draft, it seemed things were essentially falling into place.
Once again and at the risk of jinxing myself, it sure feels like this book, when all is said and done, won’t take 12 drafts.
Not at all!
The question is: How many drafts will it take?
If it takes, say, half the usual 12 drafts, some 6 drafts, then this book might be done relatively quickly.
The early drafts of each of my novels are the hardest to do and take the longest time. Once I have the plot generally “set” we start moving toward fixing grammar and cleaning up the storytelling and that usually gets done relatively quickly.
So if I’m nearly past the harder part, ie setting up the plot, and might quickly move to the editing/grammar/cleaning up storytelling, then things might go pretty quickly.
Perhaps, after writing so much, maybe I’m finally learning how to do things a little more quickly?
I haven’t mentioned it before but I’m On Reddit nowadays and, if you’d like to follow my postings, you can do so… provided I don’t bore/infuriate you with my opinions!
Usually I’m talking about movies or music, two subjects I love to blab about.
So if you’re interested in following me, while on Reddit do a search and type in:
And there I am.
If you have an account on Reddit, hit the follow button and you can read my ramblings!
It’s been increasingly hard for me to find the time to write these entries of late.
Too much time spend working and, frankly, I’m really weary. Like trying-not-to-fall-asleep-as-I-type-this weary.
The daylights savings, of course, didn’t help, as each time this happens, whether we move forward or back, it seems my body has a harder and harder time adjusting to the changes and wonders just what the hell I’m up to out there.
Last week in particular was extremely grueling, though I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say someone went on vacation and I had to handle the slack… and it seemed like everything conspired against me to make every day they were gone absolute torture.
Despite this, we’re out of the fire now and most of the issues have been dealt with.
I’ve scratched away whatever time I can get to work on the latest Corrosive Knights novel, which will be book #8 in the series but will hopefully be good enough to stand on its own.
These last few days I’ve felt myself on fire, moving through what I feel will be one of the better, more suspenseful parts of the novel and moving into the second and last half… ish.
There are still plenty of things up in the air regarding that second half of the novel but at least for the first half I feel like I’ve accomplished mostly what I’ve wanted to. I’m cautiously optimistic many of these parts of the book will not require too terribly much in terms of revision and corrections but, once again, we’re still rather early in the process so who knows.
This is the second draft of the book I’m working on now and while there are still holes here and there that need to be filled, the bulk of the story and characters are figured out.
So its off to get myself a cup of coffee and off to work.