Book Progress

If it seems like I haven't been blogging much, it's because my head is deep in revisions.

Here's where we're at:

Book 2 is first drafted. That doesn't mean the scenes are all done. Oh no! Some scenes read well and are pretty much ready to go, most scenes look 80% okay. A couple of scenes, in the third quarter of the book, are disconnected fragments of insane ravings. That's alright, as long as they're interesting ravings, I can get them properly written. A few scenes contradict the rest of the plot. I'll have to beat them back into line. A few scenes shouldn't be there. Delete works. Three or four necessary scenes are long and boring. They're the ones that worry me.

I declared first draft at about 93,000 words. Then I began revising, fixing, replacing etc. The ms peaked at almost 97K, dropped below 91K, climbed back to 94K, and now seems to be congealing at about the 92K mark. At some point I'll start looking for aggressive cuts. While I was writing the first draft, getting it up from zero, I watched word count incessantly, because I'm obsessive-compulsive like that. I'd write one sentence and then Alt-T W to see how many words I'd added. Now that I'm in the zone, I don't care what the word count is. All that matters is making the book shine. I do though still check word count once a day out of habit and idle curiousity. The zone is about 85K - 100K. As long as I stay within there, I'm happy.

I'm constantly surprised how even little changes can improve a scene. Yesterday I rewrote the first paragraph of a scene about halfway into the story, and suddenly the whole thing was twice as funny. I wish I could post it here, because that one I know is good, but sadly that would be naughty. I added three lines somewhere else and the page became edgier. I always know when a scene's become right, because then I want to carry the laptop to my wife and read the fun bits to her.

I actually prefer revising to writing. This probably makes me some sort of weird pervert, but with revisions I have a before and after snapshot of the scene, and I can judge which is better. I know I can incrementally improve a scene once it's written, as long I can tell the difference between good and gooder. No, that should be bett and better. No...anyway, trust me, I have everything under control.


Mimzy said...

Yay second book!

Yet, at the same time, BOO! When's the first book coming out already!?

*shakes fist*

Fall 2010 is too far away...

Gary Corby said...

Hi Mimzy,

I can't wait to see the book in print either - believe me! - but that's just the way the schedule works out. The poor publisher probably needs time to get over the shock of having to deal with this weirdo Gary.

If it's any compensation, *IF* the first book sells well, and *IF* a second book sells well, then there's the chance of a few more at the rate of a book a year. But of course those are big IFs. All I can do is write the best books I can. After that, it's in the hands of the Gods; in this case, probably Dionysus. There weren't any novels back then so there was no God assigned to the job, but I figure Dionysus is the closest analogue since he looked after theatre.