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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

After six months and 70,000 words, Vivian’s Last Cigarette is a finished first draft! The novel came to the end of its initial creation on Sunday, after I completed its last chapter and did some revisions to a couple of prior ones.

It was immensely gratifying to reach this leg of the journey. I really didn’t know how it would feel to complete the manuscript. When it happened, there was definitely a sense of pride and accomplishment. But knowing that the process of edits and revision based on alpha and beta reader feedback was yet to begin… and that it is likely going to be a new learning experience… tempered that feeling. There is a lot of work ahead before this will be ready to publish.

Still, I went to bed Sunday night ready to get started. :-)

viv_chapters_aeFinishing the rough of the book gave me some time to review its structure. As my first novel, I had some concerns that it may have been sloppy in that regard. But I was very conscious of that worry as I wrote and revised the story. That seems to have paid-off… as in reviewing it initially, Vivian’s seems to be the sold three-act narrative I wanted it to be. Chapters 1-8 comprise the first act, 9-13 the second and 14-17 the third.

I was a little concerned that the first act took up almost half of the chapters in the book, but then I realized that the chapters of the second half average significantly longer than the first. It seems to work out.

Kim, my lovely wife and alpha reader, is getting the honor being the first human besides myself to read the story in full. I gave her all the chapters and she’s started in on them. Once I have her feedback on the first four and work in revisions based off of her notes, I’ll send them as a second draft block to my other alpha reader Jess… That will kick-off the refinement cycle of the book in full.

I’ve got nine readers in total willing to do beta reads and feedback: My Assemblage of Awesome. ;-) That means Vivian’s will go though at least ten drafts and likely an eleventh one. I’m going to be busy!

I’ve also set a goal of having the book ready and available in eBook and print-on-demand formats by the late spring or early summer. My wife is an experienced coder with years of experience as a professional proofreader, typesetter and graphic designer. I have no doubt that once I provide her with a final version of the text, she’ll be able to generate both versions within a month or so. The bigger concern to my timetable is the edits and if they will take more than two to four months to complete.

The amount of time needed for edits is hard to predict, so I’m just going to stick with my current goals but not be so fixated on them that I’ll be reluctant to push dates out if needed. I’ve also got to organize and pay for cover art, and refine a marketing/promotion plan.

Yeah, like I said… I’m going to be busy doing this indie publishing thing. ;-)

However, even while I’m editing/revising Vivian’s I’ve got a number of projects I want to work on in between. Before I even get started, I need to put a little polish on Ounta to start Ben Van Dongen’s “Fifth Monday” chain-serial on Adventure Worlds that’s coming right up.

My novelette The Unicorn Hunters has been patiently waiting to be edited and be given a new opening chapter. The Orgcrist, however long it may turn out being as a story, has an outline but still needs to be written. I’m eager to get to work on both of those tales, as finishing them will bring my next book, a collection of more traditional fantasy stories, closer to completion.

Wow. I’ve made a lot of work for myself. No resting on my laurels for me!

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!