Today I finished the second draft of my next book, The Gray Shift! The story is now structurally complete and I don’t anticipate making any more big plot changes to it. I do plan on doing on more edit pass on it before sending it out to beta readers but that will be to mainly fix/update character names and to flesh out any descriptors as well as to make sure everything is consistent.
The second draft comes in at 246 standard 8.5×11″ Word doc pages, 61,323 words and 39 chapters long. This would be about 257 pages long with final book formatting. An average of 1,572 words per chapter. This is 9,722 words longer than the first draft was and most of that was rewording the text to make it more descriptive and flesh things out more.
My current plan going forward now is:
- Do a third edit pass. This will be to add in the small list of changes I made notes about during this second edit pass and to further flesh out details and descriptions. I don’t plan on getting all the way to purple prose (otherwise this book would double in length to tell the same story) but going for beige to lavender or a nice pastel shade of purple would be good and keep pacing tight. I’m aiming for between 70-80,000 words long in the end. I’m also going to go through every named character and add them to my character sheet to make sure the first syllables in their names are as distinct as possible and make sure their descriptions are consistent and that they are fully described during the course of the novel. I don’t want to info dump a bunch of descriptions every time someone new shows up, so I need to track what gets shown and where to make sure their descriptions are fully fleshed out. I tend to view my writing process like 3D animation, right now the motions and scenes are all in, but the final texturing and lighting hasn’t been applied yet.
- Send out the 3rd draft to my beta testers and my awesome editor for review.
- Make the cover art using Inkscape and Nick Saporito’s awesome tutorials
- Work on the outline for the sequel, The Unsettled Compromise, while the first one is out for review
The third edit pass should go faster than this second one did since the plot is all ironed out now. So I’m hoping to get it out to beta readers and my editor by sometime in February. It usually takes about a month or two for edits to get back so I should know what next steps look like sometime in March or April.
Now the third pass begins! 😅