I thought I’d pop in to let you guys know that the second draft of Soulless is done! I finished the secondary touches on the epilogue a day or two ago, and I’m pleased with the results. The second draft is much more polished than the first, and I think now I’m more free to look for any gaping plot holes than needing to worry if entire chunks of the story are in the wrong place.
The original draft was 70 chapters including the epilogue; the revised version is now a total of 39, and I think I’ll probably compress that down to around 33 or 34 in the third draft. I’m not sure why I suddenly became less okay with strings of six-page chapters, but I think the combination and compression will make for an easier read.
The second draft is about 7,000 words longer than the original. Some of this came from the (get your Dr. Evil air quotes ready) “compression” of the chapters, but much of it came from the completion of chapter stubs left over from the first draft.
There you have a shot of the final stats. 657 pages and 140,000 words. It ran a bit long, so I’m now left with two options. 1) Go through the third draft with a machete and a grudge and try to get this down to a more respectable 115,000-125,000 words. 2) Split the book into two parts and extrapolate some more on some subplots rather than cut them out altogether. I guess a third option is to say, “To hell with it,” and put it out as one volume. I’ll either be submitting to publishers and shopping around for agents soon, or I’ll be looking at self-pubbing again. I see the merit in both routes, but I would honestly prefer to at least try the traditional way first.
Followups? I did some more work on Jergen a few days ago, and I think I’m ready to get that out there, to finish the fourth installment of the Ereptor series. There is some flow there, but I’m working to get over the hump of Jergen’s past before the Fall. I’ll work out something, I promise.
I’m already looking to the next project, but I’m not sure which direction to take. Here are my options, and bear in mind that all this will eventually be written.
- A side story to the Ereptor series, Beloved, a novel about an everyman struggling to find a cure for his wife who has fallen to the Ereptor virus.
- A fantasy noir detective story set in the Soulless world of Ilthirios. I’m thinking a bloodmage detective with an erman partner. This needs to be fleshed out more, but I enjoyed my time spent in that world.
- A more traditional fantasy story, focused on one of an army’s master swordsmen who fears that the new invention of firearms will put his career in jeopardy.
There will be much more to all of these stories, but I can’t reveal my entire hand yet, can I?
I’ll keep you guys posted on updates, and hopefully the third Soulless draft won’t take nearly as long as the first two.
Thanks for sticking with me.