Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Status -- September 30, 2009

Going well. 40 of 57 chapters are proofread, tuned up and formatted for printing (that’s 70% for you math majors). This has gone relatively fast as much of the novel has been in better shape than I thought, and for me at least the story is quite engaging (which sometimes makes proofreading difficult). Fixed many inconsistencies along the way, and locked down some key plot and character points. So it has been good.

At least it had been. This week I hit chapter 41 and found 1) an important scene skipped, and 2) major inconsistencies with some earlier chapters. So I’ve had to stop and rewrite this section. Slows me down, but it’s making the book stronger.

I have also decided it needs an antagonist-conspiracy draft just looking at interactions with the antagonist and how both her character and her scheme are revealed. A few things are given away too early, and a few things that make her motivations believable don’t come out until the very end. I figure these two problems are going to cost me a week.

So here are the current stats:

Days Writing ZPF: 399
Hours Writing ZPF: 812

Novel word counts:
- Rough Draft 0 words
- 1st Draft 6506 words
- 2nd Draft 100,690 words

Total Words: 107,196 words

What this means: In this rev I have cut 8,000 words, much if it at the sentence level just by finding better words and removing fluff. The remaining 1st draft portion is the last section which still needs a final chapter.

My original estimate was 70K words and about 6 months of effort. I guess what this tells us is that my estimating procedure needs a bit of work.

Anyway, the goal is in sight. I expect to have 1st reader copies made in October (likely late October). With their feedback, there will probably be another draft in January / February timeframe.

The next big question -- do I start some marketing (agent / publisher contacts) in parallel with the first readers? Or do I want until next year? More on that later.

No comments: