The last time I wrote something here I was close to finishing a new draft of my book. So close in fact that I completed that draft on that very day. I thought it might be a bit over the top to post twice though so I waited until now, when a third draft has been completed. In fact, Kim is reading through at the moment, with an eye for tense problems, structural inconsistencies and general errors. I’m pretty much done with this book beyond the final editing stage, and I’m doing that bit by bit as Kim goes through reading it and finding errors.

At this moment I’ve not moved straight on to the next book in the series. I learned enough about my own writing style in this one to appreciate how useful a good outline is to me and have been slowly putting one together for the next book. I’ve got all the main events in place and have fleshed out about half of the book to the degree I need. This helped me to recognise where it was a bit weak and where I could improve the idea, and I’ve built those ideas into the outline from the very beginning rather than finding out when I think I’m done and having to start over again and delete most of my work. As so much was cut from the last book and my rewrites pretty much took everything else I’d done over seven months, the use of a detailed outline should help me to get to the stage I’m at now a lot quicker.

While I’m outlining I’m keeping my writing skills in check with a weekly fiction series on a forum for a game I enjoy. When the story there is finished I’ll be publishing it here in its entirety, but for now it’s just helping me to keep exercising my writing skills while I outline the next book in my main project. That story is another dark fantasy but benefits from an existing world, so I don’t have to both explain how the world works and disguise those explanations in regular dialogue and scenes throughout the story. It’s been a liberating experience and reminded me how much I love writing. Considering I’m at a stage with my big book where I’m mostly looking at what’s wrong with it, I needed that reminder.

Oh, currently the draft of the book I wrote is sitting at 120,419 words, which is a far cry from the six pages I was hoping it might stretch to fill when I first had the idea. You can get an idea of how that stacks up against other novels here.


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