Sunday, September 06, 2009

Seventh Chakra - Revised Draft Completed

So, after last night's scotch-enhanced writing session, I did indeed complete my revised draft of The Seventh Chakra.

For those of you who might be interested, I'll explain what this effectively means.

Back in March, I finished my first initial draft of the novel. That draft took me about two years to write (for those of you doing the math, I had begun writing it after I'd written Thousand Leaves, but before it was published; there will be much less of a gap, this time). I then sent that initial draft out for editorial feedback, sat on it for a couple of months and worked on some other projects in the meantime, and then came back to it to work on it over the summer.

This revised draft can, in some senses, be considered a "second draft" by some people's reckonings. The first third of the book was heavily rewritten, a great deal of it from the ground up. My main goal there was to quicken the pace, better establish the characters, and general tidy up a bunch of crap I wrote two years ago that just wasn't up the standard of what I could write now. This is the portion of the novel where most of the actual events change.

The middle section of the book is probably the least "changed" in the sense of "things happening differently." A lot of what I did here was just editing and polishing and fixing errors, making things sound better and flow better without altering the events that actually occurred, for the most part. I did still change a few things, narratively, but compared to the earlier section of the book, I did much less of that.

Finally, the last third of the book, including the climax, dénouement, and resolution, ended up in the middle ground between these other two sections. I rewrote a whole lot of the dialogue in the conversations that took place, not altering the gist of what was said or the information given, but mainly just focusing on making it sound less staged and theatric (there was one character, in particular, who had this problem quite grievously). There were also a number of points that I needed to fiddle with due to logical consistency issues, as well as to match some of the changes I'd made to earlier parts of the book.

(Oh, and finally-finally, I went and did a search for my "comma-then-comma" and "comma-though-comma" structures that I overuse like the dickens, and took out about 95% of them.)

But yes, so what does this all mean?

Well, the manuscript itself isn't "done" yet. I have sent it out for another, final round of editorial feedback, which I hope to get back shortly after I'm back from my trip to Seattle later this month. This feedback will feed into what will likely be my final round of revisions, the last changes I make before finally putting this thing to bed and saying, "Okay, it's done."

The types of changes still to be made are likely to be ones of stylistic choice, ones where I fix more logical breaks I didn't spot before, and otherwise trim and pretty things up. The narrative itself will probably remain unchanged in most respects.

So, yes, this is the last little spurt that needs to be made before I get to say, "I've finished The Seventh Chakra. Also happening now is all the stuff for the art for the book. I can't say much about that, yet, officially, but I'm very excited about some of the stuff that's going on there (and I'll hopefully be able to tease you all about it soon).

In the meantime, I rest my brain. I'll probably poke and play with some short stories that have been sitting around on my computer and in my head, and will put some more focus on some roleplaying campaigns I'm doing.


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