If I was to keep it short, October saw me reach another milestone. I’ve finished the second round of beta stage and the edits on it. Now, on to the details…
Of course, the end of a beta stage was coming – I said in the September update that the readers were at ~85% and ~65% respectively. And as they reached the end, I was glad how much they told me and how easily it lead to ideas for fixing the issues they’ve reported.
As I was handling several sources, I had to adjust my technique which led to using color-coding in a serious scope for the first time – and to keeping the to-be-removed passages in the file next to the new ones so I could look at both the old, to-be-fixed passage and the fix itself at once.
The word count dropped some 5k, from 181k to 176,1k. I’ve written 23k words during this draft, of which I guess 3-5k might be new scenes (or major extensions of existing scenes) while the rest were close to 1:1 rewrites – most often for PoV clarity (removing head-hopping), showing instead of telling, plot/detail clarity, etc. Some of them were issues with flow (drawn-out passages) or engagement.
Then, to finish the equation, it means roughly 8k words worth of cuts. Some are scenes that add little but I consider them valid part of the plot – and will, at some point after finishing the book, share them here on this weblog as extra content. Others were scenes that did not work really well and were cut completely.
Yet, this seventh draft might become one that exists for the shortest time. While I fixed several issues and saw major improvement in several parts of the story, I began considering a bigger change at the beginning of the month so just after wrapping up the seventh draft, I began working on the eight draft without even a proof-read as my plan is to do that when the major change is done. The point of the seventh draft is to be a back-up should the big change I am preparing go really bad and I decided to revert it.
And, just as I returned from my weekend in the hills, I got to working on the 8th draft. It’s a bit strange as I have many places that will need minor edits and a few that’ll need chapter-size rewrites or cuts and I can’t always go for them chonologically – I keep the major rewrites for when I know I’ll be able to have a 2-3hrs of undisturbed writing time at least, otherwise I go for the smaller edits – which then leads to skipping back and forth and will be a cause for several proofreads before I am ready to share it with another rounds of betas.
I’ll wrap it here – considering I want to have the 8th draft ready during November to move my writing forward and stay on track for 2020 release, the next month should see me keeping up the pace.
So, see you next time and good luck with your writing.