As promised, I finished the first draft of F Bomb last night. Two hundred and six minutes to write two thousand and seventy two words and I’m pretty happy with it.
As always it now sits in the unfinished folder for a couple of weeks to let it ‘stew’.
As well as finishing F Bomb, I created a folder for Novel Number 2 which from now on will be known as Uncanny Freaks. I won’t actually be starting on the novel for a couple of weeks yet so it’s largely a ceremonial step but it does give me somewhere to store the notes that I need to start making.
I also moved an unfinished story into my abandoned folder. That makes unlucky thirteen stories in my abandoned. Some of them are just snippets of stories I wrote years ago. Others are almost complete tales that just didn’t work. Some of the ideas are good though, including the one I consigned to oblivion last night so I’ll be returning to it at some point – I’ll just be starting fresh.
As well as the abandoned folder, I have a bunch of unsold stories that I like to read through every now and again. Most of them are unsold for a reason but again, there’s some interesting ideas in some of them and although I don’t submit them any more, one day I’ll probably rewrite one or two.
And last but not least, Matt Nord has posted the table of contents for So Long, and Thanks for All the Brains on his blog.
It turns out I was actually working on Draft Number Ten of The Ghost Smuggler, not number nine as I originally thought.
Whichever number it was, I finished it yesterday morning after a final check of a couple of chapters I’d reworked – just to check flow and continuity.
Some stats about Draft Number Ten.
The manuscript is now 169 pages long (single spaced) and comes in at 87,000 words. Yes, exactly 87,000 – weird huh? The double spaced manuscript clocks in at 390 pages. Editing Draft Number Ten took 774 minutes (give or take an hour or so for random digressions onto the Internet) and overall I removed 447 words from the story. That’s probably a good thing.
Next step is to send it off to Jeff VanderMeer who offers a critique service. I’m a fan of Jeff’s writing (in particular the ridiculously inventive Finch) so the opportunity for him to cast a critical eye over my manuscript was too good to pass up.
I was a little concerned that my aging LaserJet would collapse under the strain of printing out the whole manuscript so I batched up the printing to make sure it survived. And survive it did, although I almost ran out of paper – there was only twelve sheets left when I’d finished printing.
Today, The Ghost Smuggler goes in the mail and heads across the border to Jeff.
The Ghost Smuggler
So, change of plan yesterday. What was going to be a start-a-new-story session turned into start-a-new-draft session. More specifically, start the ninth draft of The Ghost Smuggler. That’s not to suggest that each draft is a full-on heavy rewrite, the last few have been fairly minor tweaks and corrections. This time round I’m looking at the story again after several months away from it to see if there’s any more tweaks I want based on the things I’ve learned over the course of the year before I start sending it out. I’m also investigating the possibility of a professional critique so I want to make sure I have the cleanest manuscript I can for that.
The problem is, I can always find something to change. I covered the first twenty one pages last night and made a fair number of revisions. Some of them were definitely improvements and fixes for typos – some of them…I’m not so sure.
Overall, though, I think I’m making it better.
Time will tell…