Friday Friday, Thank You Friday

I don’t have much to talk about this week–or rather, I do, but it’s not a topic for a Friday post. Fridays are about Fiction, these days. Other stuff–politics, rants, photos of my garden–go somewhere else.

So about Fiction. First up, I’ll say that I’m absolutely delighted with the progress I’ve made on book 5 this week. I am literally within days of wrapping up the final scenes. This is good and bad, of course–because once the first draft is done, I get to send it out to my beta readers (assuming they’re still around and haven’t wandered off after three years of waiting!), and wait, chewing my nails for their comments, and mightily resisting the urge to sneak in just one last edit while I’m waiting

In the past I have literally put copies of the novel on a USB drive, moved all my copies of the file to a computer under his sole control, and asked my husband to refuse me access until the beta readers were finished. It worked reasonably well. 🙂

Once I’m allowed to touch the manuscript, I get out my surgical gloves and start slicing and dicing and taking out the bits that don’t work. I already suspect I’ll lose at least one of the character POV lines; I just don’t know yet which one. I know for a fact I over-wrote the hell out of this book; even after stripping out thousands of words worth of one POV line that wasn’t adding anything useful, I’m still up over 230K. I’m aiming to cut about 30K from that before I send it off to the publisher (ReAnimus Press).

Then there will be the publisher’s edits. And cover design discussions. I very much want to keep Aaron B. Miller as the cover artist, but it may not be possible; in fact, the entire series may wind up with a cover facelift over the next year.

But once the book hits the layout stage, I can start planning a launch party-palooza! And oh, my, I will PARTY. It’s been a long and strange road for this series, and I’m very happy with what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown. I’m also very much looking forward to getting traction on the other stuff piling up in my notes, from the science fiction stories to the spin off side stories like Fallen City and A Small Price To Pay that are so damn fun for me to write.