Well, it is official. The manuscript, apart from the most superficial of edits, has been completed. It took me a little over a year, a total of three drafts to get through, and a final edit that removed a grand total of 30,000 words from the final product. As it stands now, this draft runs 141,104 words.
Apart from a few changes, this thing is done. Can’t say it hasn’t been an exiting year filled with discovery, and that this journey helped me find a home amongst my characters. But above all else, I can say something that not a lot of people can say. I finished a book. I didn’t just write a draft and call it a day, but went through it, studied it, polished it, built it up a little at a time, and made it something that I can now comfortably say is a completed work.
Over this past year, I have come to know my characters very well. Often when writing, it takes time to get back into the right mindset and find the voice of someone else hiding inside you, but in these last months, these characters have become family to me. Journeying with them became my home away from home, and for a time, it was the only real source of joy in my otherwise mundane life. Now I have spent so much time with them, it has come to the point where meditation and reflection are not required for me to find them. Now it is as easy as calling them on the phone.
A lot has changed for me this last year. After completing college I moved from the soft rolling hills from Ohio to the hustle bustle of Los Angeles, a very jarring change indeed. Now thousands of miles from my closest family and friends, I found myself in some very poor living conditions which I shared with six other people, had numerous fights and altercations, got a boring and often stressful job in retail, got an internship which appears to have been a dead end, and that is just for starters.
Through it all, this book was my one joy in life. I couldn’t work on it as often as I would have liked. Doing it at home was out of the question because of the crowding, so I would often leave for work early, sometimes as much as six hours, just to have the peace and quiet to concentrate. Now I have a new place where I can work in peace, more time to pursue a career in entertainment, and as of now, a completed manuscript to start shopping around.
I never thought myself capable of writing a book, least of all hammering out over 100,000 words on my first serious outing, but here the manuscript is in front of me, eager for more eyes to read it.
A long and perilous journey awaits. The journey to find an agent, sifting through rejection letter after rejection letter before finding that one resounding ‘yes’, and finishing the story. This is but the first in at least five, more likely six books. I do know the ending, but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a little intimidating, knowing there are more of these to get through before all is said and done. But there is a comfort knowing I won’t make the journey alone. The characters of this story will be there to guide me home.
That aside, here are some updates on the artwork. Here is the latest picture of River. He is pretty much done though his morning star needs the final touches. That should happen sometime tomorrow.
As for Zhyx himself, those teeth have been finalized. This scan right here shows his pearly whites in all their glory. Once this sketch is outlined, detail will be added to this sketch to make it just as detailed, if not more so, than the original portrait by our good friend David Spada.
Thanks all for reading, and looking forward to talking to you soon. Will keep you posted on what comes next.