Seven Wonders: Draft X.2

Less than a week left of my working week. Hey, it makes sense to me. This week has also been pretty busy writing-wise, with one project going on the back burner and another one springing up. But fortunately, I’ve pretty much managed to keep up with editing on Seven Wonders, which today I officially bumped from Draft X.1 to X.2

The change in version number was prompted by completion of a big phase of editing. As I’ve gone entirely paperless for editing, I made extensive notes on the manuscript (draft X)  as a PDF on my iPad. At the same time, I did an overall note for each chapter, giving myself a little plot summary plus any larger issues that were apparent.

Draft X.1 was then going through and making all the changes marked in the PDF in the MS Word document – and boy, there were a lot of these. They were mainly technical edits – typos, bad writing, other structural adjustments. There were usually several per page, and a few days of making hundreds of tiny corrections and tweaks was enough to make me want to throw my computer out the window.

I should point out, however, that this is entirely normal. This phase always feels like that. Business as usual.

Once the technical corrections were made to give a pretty clean draft, I transferred the chapter notes into the manuscript as large comments, expanding on things that I remembered to make the next phase a bit easier. With all that done, I’m now on draft X.2.

The next phase is possibly the hardest. I think I have about five completely new chapters to write. In addition, I have to convert an existing chapter into another setting (from a convenience store to a public park). The book is already fairly long at around 120,000 words, and I expect the new sections will add at least another 10,000 to this. But I’m pretty clear on what needs to go in, and I’ll just need to do a little bit of outlining before cracking on with it. One new chapter in particular is pivotal – given that this is a book about superheroes, I really want this new chapter to feel like a special one-shot issue of something – a complete, self-contained story that would normally sit within 22 comic book pages. Of course, this isn’t a comic, but it’s a useful approach. That also applies to a lot in the book – there are some short, sharp chapters, and a lot of action that wouldn’t look out of place in a two-page spread.

All as intended!

But before that… I have to read it. Again. I’m not sure how many times I’ve been through it from page 1 to page 457, but it’s more than a few.

But that’s all part of the job. And I wouldn’t change that for the world.