Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Level Up In Editing, and Twixt To-Do

I finished the first draft of Twixt Heaven and Hell in August 2010, if memory serves. My first edit took until some time in November to complete - it was fairly substantive. It had some story changes and some definite improvements - but what it did not succeed at was cutting extraneous words. I only lost about 3k words off the 161k first draft in that first edit.

While there have been a number of edits in between then and now - mostly focused on rewriting particular scenes or expanding on a character's role - I have just finished the second major edit of Twixt. From the previous word count of 158,000 words, the book now sits at 138,000 - a loss of 20k words, and a gain of a much tighter narrative. It makes me wonder what I was thinking during that first edit.

I still have a couple decisions to make before arriving at the final version of the book. There is a chapter I'm not sure belongs in there - though it's a good chapter, and illuminating for a couple of minor character and some of the world, it has little bearing on the primary plot or any prominent subplot. If I decide to remove it I'll likely put it somewhere as a "Deleted Scene" sort of thing.

I ended up re-removing the epilogue I had written (and it needed to be re-written as well). The final chapter of the book ends exactly the way I want it to, and I don't want to change the mood of the ending with an epilogue. That, too, will be put up for free consumption.

I'm still on track to publish later this month or very early in July. The incredible Graham Hanks, who has done the covers for two of my earlier releases, is hard at work on the cover for my first book - the early samples look awesome.

Here's the work that stands between me and the publication of this book:
  1. Make final decision on that pesky chapter (Leaning towards cutting it)
  2. Finalize Cover Art (on track)
  3. Draw a map (I like books with maps in them)
  4. Finalize copy (long and short summaries for Amazon and Smashwords pages)
I would almost include the final version of the epilogue as #5, but that can arrive after the book itself.

I'm not gonna lie. I'm excited to finally put this out there.

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