Rejoice! Sing! The draft is done!
Based on my records I spent:
- 48.5 hours on the pre-draft for this book
- 503.5 hours to finish draft 1
- 130 hours to finish draft 2
- A total of 682 hours of work to this point
If I’d been working full time on this that would be roughly 17 weeks. That’s about 4 months. I don’t think that’s so bad, considering this book clocks in at 230,000 words. Not bad at all. But no wonder just finishing a novel is the thing that filters most would-be writers out. That’s a freaking huge amount of time. I hope as things progress I get faster.
Here’s what I focused on in this draft.
- Sugar’s story. It was a mess and the biggest problem with draft 1. I had to rewrite or massively revise about a dozen of her chapters. In fact, I ended up added three chapters to her story: White Tower, Withers, and Loyalties. I’m very please, however, with the result. I think it works very well.
- The Gnolum. I had purposely left the seeding chapters for these giants out (seeding as in I can’t just have them show up at the end without laying some groundwork). I had to add 2 chapters for them to this draft.
- Early Argoth chapters. The first two chapter of Argoth’s story needed to be totally rewritten. The second needed major revising.
- Chapter titles. For titles in draft 1 I used the name of the main pov character in the chapter and a short summary of what was happening. It helps keep things clear. So those are now out and the chapter titles in.
- Rough stuff. In many of the early chapters I was still feeling my way into the story. Yes, I had an outline, but I just can’t get the whole story until I begin to write. So there were many chapters with notes to myself or blanks to fill in. Some things no longer worked because of later chapters. All this I had to fix.
- Reordering chapters in the last half of the book. About halfway through the book Talen’s story breaks off from Sugar’s and Argoth’s. So when I was originally writing them, I found it easier to just write all of Talen’s story and then all of Sugars and Argoth’s until the three met up again. Well, this created some time gaps. I fixed those. I also had long stretches of one pov. For example, I had Talen’s story running for 14 chapters without any break to the other viewpoints. All this had to be fixed.
So I’m very pleased with this draft. Here are the first three chapters for your enjoyment: CODG draft 2 beginning for readers. Remember: feedback from my wife, agent, editors, and other early readers will change it. You’re welcome to contact me with any comments you might have about it.