Fantasy is a difficult genre to write, so you can imagine how rough it has been to be working on the same story for ten years going through multiple iterations in screenplay format and a whopping six drafts in novel prose. That’s why it has been an immense relief to have made it to a definitive final draft, a final draft we’re now halfway done with editing.
My book is 18 chapters long and currently stands at some 158,000 words and 425 pages. That count has gone a little bit up and a little bit down here and there based on scenes and passages that are being constantly added, deleted, or otherwise revised. I’ve moved beyond the first four chapters (my first act) and powered on to the second act. Yesterday I completed editing chapter 9, and just this morning I put the finishing touches on chapter 10. That leaves is 8 chapters to go and then this 10 year journey of world building and draft revising can finally be put to rest.
A few times this week I had some trouble. Two chapters needed to be gone over twice as somehow I knew I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to properly edit them. Be it either for a sour mood or just being exhausted, something didn’t quite feel completed about those last run throughs. Sure enough going through them again I found some rather noteworthy errors. Fragments of a previous draft, a nasty typo, a piece of prose that was too loaded. I had to do that for both chapters 7 and 9 both. But they were all the better for the extra work, because now I could close the page easy.
My first novel, which has been a source of much joy and frustration has never left me for more than a month these last two years. I’ve been writing it constantly at work, home, vacation, what have you. I pretty much had to learn how to write a book while doing this as prose fiction was not my forte. I always considered myself a more visual artist. My passion wasn’t literature, but film. That’s what I went to school for, and that’s what I dreamed of doing from the age of ten to now. Imagine my surprise that most of my passion has gone into a book. It has made me question my desire to work in film, though I still try for it every day.
With chapter 10 done, we’re past the halfway point. We’ve got less than 200 pages to go before it is wrapped and then comes that long, painful search for an agent. I’ll have a lot to get ready for with the rejection letters that are sure to follow. In between contacting agents and reading ‘No’ after ‘No’ I’ll finally have the free time to work on other projects such as screenplays and of course the sequels to this first book.