One and Done

I know I’ve been saying it for months.  “Oh, I’m so close to finishing.  Oh, I’m working so hard, honest.  I haven’t been looking at lolcats all day.  I didn’t decide to pack up my life and move house just so I could have an excuse to ignore my manuscript for a couple of weeks.  Really.  I’ve been writing.  I promise.”

spoilnewfront2But guess what, guys?  The  joke’s on you.  Because I have been writing.  In drips and dribbles, fits and starts, but those words kept moving from my brain to the page.  And now, slightly less than a year after I first started, I have a completed draft of The Spoil of Zanuth-Karun.

That’s right.  Completed.  Finished.  Whole.  All 191,367 words of it.

Don’t worry, I’m cringing at that number, too.  I think it’s an ambitious story, with a lot of characters that weave in and out, rely on each other and betray each other in unexpected ways.  It’s a big book about a big empire and the cataclysm that brought an entire world to its knees, so it’s not going to be a quick and fluffy beach vacation read.  Nonetheless, there’s a significant amount of trimming to do, and I’m looking forward to getting it under some semblance of control.

But I am faced with a conundrum.  You see, the first session of Camp NaNoWriMo has been moved to April this year, and I’d like to be able to participate.  I have a fun idea for a more light-hearted, seafaring fantasy adventure, and part of me thinks that it’s best to take a break from The Spoil to get some perspective before I go back to edit it.  I think a little distance makes me a better editor, and helps me read the work with fresh eyes and a more objective red pen.

The other part of me is aware that I tentatively promised a release date in April, and while there’s no hope of sticking to that, I should try to get it to market as soon as possible.  If I work through the coming month, I could likely have it ready for print by the end of May (assuming no major distractions).  Otherwise, we’re looking at June or possibly early July.

So I put it to you, loyal readers: what would you have me do?  I can’t promise that taking my time will deliver a better product, but it seems a pretty likely scenario.  And yet I know some of you have been quite anxiously awaiting this installment of the saga, and I hate to disappoint.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  I am putting my life in your hands – or at getting brownie points for asking, even if I end up ignoring all your advice when I decide I don’t like it.

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9 thoughts on “One and Done

  1. I think that most readers prefer the best quality as possible from an author, and, having just finished the manuscript, you are WAY TOO CLOSE to it for editing at the level you desire. You need to let it breathe. Your readers will understand. Also, you are creating a tremendous volume of work, and, taking a breather before your next novel (at least decreasing your daily wordage for a short while), could reap you great benefits in the long run (honestly, your word production is mesmerizing).

    I just received my copy of “The Last Death of Trev Chrisini” and it looks just great! I can’t wait to start reading it! You have inspired me to hire someone to re-do the cover of my self-published book (it’s just a back-book, but, we must always put our best feet forward, right?).

    Yours in literature,
    J.G.C.

    • Wow, that was pretty quick shipping! I was lucky enough to get my current cover professionally done for free, but it’s definitely worth the money. First impressions count!

  2. Knowing how much structure and discipline are supported through the NaNo process. In May, would you like to have two drafts, that could both be edited and out by the end of the summer, or just one draft in edits? Personally, I’d take the break from The Spoil so you can come to your edits with fresh eyes.

    • That’s a good point. I think it’ll be one of those decide-at-midnight-the-day-of things, based on how I’m feeling at that moment. That’s the only way I can ever tell what I truly want to do.

  3. PS. I’ll be doing Camp NaNo in April as well, but only aiming for 25k. I have a workshop to lead, a conference to attend, report cards to do, and editing my November NaNo work.

  4. It sounds like my kind of vacation beach reading!
    I think stepping back from it for a while before editing is probably a good idea…Even if it means I have to wait a little longer to get my hands on a copy. 🙂

  5. > Can I borrow your copy of Two Years Before the Mast?

    Wow, this is odd – I have been trying to avoid blogs for a few months to buckle down at work, and I just not caught up with several writing blogs…and I see this.

    The odd part?

    I read Two Years Before the Mast for the first time…just about exactly when this post went up!

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