One more rough draft in the bag

It’s done!

Well, the rough draft of the new novel anyway. I’ve been working in fits and starts (for various reasons) since last February, and finally it’s sitting happily on my hard drive in its entirety (and on the backup drive, and the online backup, and the backup backup FTP site). Just getting it typed up has taken a couple months since concerted computer time is sometimes harder to come by than time with a notebook at the table.

So how did it go? It’s been long enough since I completed any other rough draft, I honestly can’t compare much. In all that editing between I must have mistakenly deleted those rough draft completion scenes. Hmmm.

But I do feel like this draft gives me a lot to work with. I’m feeling solid on the plot, and have gotten to know the characters much better than has happened in previous books. All the time I spent outlining and thoughtfully laying out the chapters–both up front and as I went along–paid off.

But by the time I hit the last third, I also knew massive revisions will be in the works. The first big target is the world-building. The world in my head is strange, the magic elements pervasive throughout the everyday lives of the characters. On the page, it’s ended up much more sedate, so I’m going to have to fix that. Not sure how yet, but unless the world in the book takes on a lot more texture, it won’t possibly fly.

For all my friends reading the blog (hi you two!) the real question is, “Can I read it?” The unfortunate answer is “No.” I’m normally not shy about spreading my work, but things are still too undone. I’d end up with lots of comments about the gaps I’m already painfully aware of. I’d rather hear what folks think when I’ve got something I’m happy with on the table.

Next up is letting it marinate for a couple months. I’m going to get some short fiction down on paper, not least to shake loose the book from my brain. I’ll pick it up again after my birthday in September, and we’ll see where it goes from there.