First Draft: Done!

Not quite as powerful as Jesus exclaiming “It is finished.” But it feels that way to me.

I made an executive creative decision last week. While working through scene 12, which fell a little past midway in my original draft, it hit me: this could be done pretty much now. At least, this could be a complete story, in and of itself, with a few tweaks. Then I could get to final editing faster, and get a cover finished, and get this thing into real readers’ hands. And conveniently, book 2 is already started with what I’ve got left.

My intent behind writing this series was to make episodes, not movies. Highly influenced by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant’s publishing at Sand & Realms, I think it’s a good medium in today’s market. I was that commuter, sitting on a train, just wanting to get through a 30 minute ride. Shorter books do that. And in the end, collectively, there is a full-length novel in the form of all the books in the series.

I hope I don’t leave the audience hanging too much though. I know how frustrating that can be. The arc of a character, the path of the story, all of those things matter, and I don’t mean to truncate them too quickly. But when I think of them as episodes in a TV series, it makes sense to me. If you really didn’t like book 1, then the fractional investment is low. And if you’re on the fence, the fractional investment to keep up through book 2 is not that much more. As my co-workers in Silicon Valley say, “Fail fast”.

My first draft turned out to be 36,800 words. We’ll see what that pares down to. Final editing has started and the cover design has begun. Many thanks to supporters in both areas! With crossed fingers, I’ll hit “publish” on Amazon this spring.

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