Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

How to finish your final draft, or: Just keep going, dummy

 The final draft of The Source Emerald is done!

Wait, let me start over:

The "final draft" of The Source Emerald is done! (Assuming that will continue to be the title.)

There, more accurate. The Source Emerald is about a young FBI agent who is assigned to track down possible gem smugglers, only to discover two of her suspects claim to be foreigners--specifically, from the Land of Oz, which they insist is a real place. And if they don't find the mysterious gems everyone seems to be after, it might be the end of both their worlds.

I suppose it can be considered urban fantasy--I wasn't thinking in terms of genre when I wrote it. You might remember that my word count changed from draft to draft, starting at 67,515, peaking at 70,294 with the second draft, then dropping to 69,028. Now, after polishing and going through the whole thing line by line to check for voice and errors, I'm left with 69,370 words. I added some here and there for clarity, but also cut a lot out of one of the later chapters.

So, from the first word typed on November 1st to the "final" version, it took me just under three months to finish an almost 70,000 word novel. Yay, me! (I did do some outlining and research in October.)

Now Emily gets it.

Emily was holding my granddaughter hostage until I finished my draft!! Hey, I don't make stuff up.

My wife/editor/IT department/cover artist doesn't take any crap from me. The manuscript will come back full of red words, with numerous notes in the margins. She'll tell me what does and doesn't make sense, what word choice is wrong, where I'm being long winded, and what food is best for me. Well, that last one isn't directly connected.

Then I'll go through the whole thing all over again, because writing is editing. When it's finally, completely, for sure done, I'll put it in a file and go over to reread We Love Trouble, the book I went through all this with last year. When The Source Emerald has sufficiently cooled, I'll try to read it for entertainment, like a regular reader, and we'll see.

This is the writing process. The process is boring to everyone but the writer, and sometimes even to them. But it's the best way I know to get a good product.

Also, I can't write without the dog keeping a close eye on me. I think he's spying for Emily.


Tags: authors, books, editing, emily, fiction writing, oz, the source emerald, the wizard of oz, writing process

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