Wow. It took four months longer than I'd hoped, but it's finally done folks. The second draft of my novel, Star Song: Detour on the Alkan Run, is complete. Before anyone sets off any fireworks, yes, there will most certainly be a third draft. And probably a fourth. But now that I've rained on the parade...HOORAY! It's done, sucka!
Looking back at when I finished the first draft, I can see that I got quite a lot of things right. First of all, I finished on time, with three days to spare. Maybe I should have set a more firm deadline this go around but I wanted it to be done by the end of August. Obviously that didn't work out...
I was quite insistent that the first draft was very, very rough. That couldn't have been more true. Somewhere along the way of fixing it I started calling it "a terd coated terd with terd filling." I said there would be lots of rewriting and that there was. The first draft weighed in at 30 chapters and 154,549 words. Draft two has 30 chapters plus an epilogue and is a frightening 173,095 words. It's way too long, and that needs to change. However, on the bright side, regardless of how long it took (my dad kept telling me not to sacrifice quality for speed) this draft is actually readable.
And reading it people have been! I've been getting lots of great comments from my wife. I'm so fortunate to have married a woman who knows how to respond to writing. She isn't afraid to tell me what she really thinks and that's what a writer needs. My buddy Copperhead has been collecting his thoughts in a word doc and even told me he was going to read the whole thing AGAIN, straight through once I finished it all. Can't wait to get his thoughts. I know people are busy, but I'm so grateful to everyone who volunteered to look at it and tell me what they think. It's your feedback that will take this book from readable to publishable. You will be thanked in the first book of the next great science fiction series! I'm also happy for all of you who have asked to read it lately. I will need people to read the third draft as well.
To recap my accomplishments and goals:
First Draft: Terd
Second Draft: Readable
Third Draft: Publishable
Fourth Draft: TOTALLY INSANELY AWESOME NO WAY IN THE WORLD IT COULDN'T GET PUBLISHED AND BE A BEST SELLER
The third draft, too, will need plenty of rewriting and a lot of cutting, so please readers, consider what doesn't need to be there. I know I am. I'm starting grad classes again this spring, so you have plenty of time. I want to start on the third draft this summer, when I have lots of free time for a couple months.
Until then, I'm Eric and I'm an unpublished (still haven't been paid for in-print work) writer.
In case you missed it, here's a link to the short story I had published last month on Every Day Fiction. And here is a new link to their interview with the author (me!).
The folks over at Every Day Fiction take the top-rated story from any given month and do an interview with the author on their blog, Flash Fiction Chronicles. For an e-zine that barely pays their writers and is definitely drawing stories from struggling up-and-comers, I think this is a great way to give a little extra back to those whose work is well-received. At this point, it's all about getting my name out there, and what better way than to be interviewed on the blog of a well-known e-zine, boasting about how awesome my work is. TOP-RATED! WOO-HOO!
I'm very excited about this and extra proud of the piece, so pop on over and give 'em both a gander. Thanks to all who rated my story so highly!
I'm Eric and according to those links I've posted, I'm a published author.
I could no longer wait for my novel to be complete. My short fiction had suffered neglect too long. I spent one day this last weekend putting a much procrastinated final revision on a short story, just in time to get it out for the Tampa Review's Danahy Fiction Prize ($1000 and publication, plus it feels a bit like the homecoming game, really want to win that one). However, I can't rely on that alone. The odds are against me. So, with the help of my lovely Misses, I've printed and stuffed and licked and now have five envelopes ready to go out the door. That may not seem like a whole lot but midway through the process I found that three of the other magazines I intended to submit this first round to now accept fee free online submissions. This is always the choice method. I also tossed another story out to one mag, so plenty going around. Trying not to let it sit on my desk.
Until next time, (and I'm hoping next time will bring some very cool news) I'm Eric yada yada yada.