When I’m writing, I commonly leave myself brackets around words that I either need to go back in the typed document to fact check, or that I need to find a synonym for. In the pictured case below, it’s a fact check. I hand write my drafts and my first line of editing is when I type my written sections up, usually a chapter at a time. Do you do this? If not, it might help! For me, it gives me permission to keep writing and not stall my progress with a word check.
You may or may not recall (because I may or may not have blogged about this, I don’t remember) but my partner gave me a peedie Japanese maple seedling when we first got serious about dating roughly 7 years ago. Well, I decided right then that I wanted to raise it to bonsai because then I could always bring it with us wherever we moved (which is turning out to be a great call, thanks growing-up-as-an-Army-brat.) This past winter I decided it was big enough to start training. In preparation, I had repotted it down a pot size and cleaned and trimmed the roots.
This past winter, I topped it.
And you know I crossed my fingers hard and checked on it every day.
Guess what: it’s surviving!
And more than that, it’s thriving! It has so many baby leaves opening up and a glorious amount of leaf buds growing on the main trunk. I suppose my next step is finding the pot that I want to keep it in. Then, this coming winter, I’ll repot it and trim the roots some more.
Okay, dear readers, guess what! Yes, that’s right, the draft for First Watch is officially in my editor’s hands/mailbox/email inbox/shared Google file/it’s getting looked at. I’ve asked for her help with identifying spots that need answers or embellishing, which for those that don’t know is called “editing for content.” Basically I’m 10k words short of my goal, which averages to about 40 pages. While I still have a chapter or two to write to wrap up this story and lead into the next, I don’t think that will take 40 pages. So I’ve enlisted my editor’s help (hopefully) with expanding the current stuff a bit.
I’m an independent or self-published author, so you may be asking: why is word count important? I saw an e-book the other day with 9 pages in it! 9!!!! Well, it’s because I still have goals or expectations for myself, and ideally I’d like First Watch to be as long as its predecessor, Civil Dusk, which was about 40k words. Right now with the indexes for First Watch I’m at about 30k words (a smidge over, but whatever, we’re estimating.) This is technically FINE for a novella….my OCD just wants the book to be about as thick as the other book. That’s all. I blame the OCD.
So, at this point that duty is in my editor’s and beta reader’s hands. I just need to draft up the last chapter (or two), craft a blurb for the back, convince my cover designer to add “Book 2 of Civil Dusk” to the design (sorry Dave!) and….that’s it? Order the test copy and then some stock and hopefully (IDEALLY) have everything done and in my hands by May 8.
Why May 8? Because (as of RIGHT NOW) that’s the date of the Manassas Viking Festival in Manassas, VA. And, as of RIGHT NOW, that festival will be happening this year. Hopefully. Knock on all the wood. First Watch features Viking history and Nordic gods pretty heavily, and I intend for it to be done in time for release at this festival.
SO! Put it on your calendar. May 8, 2021. Manassas, VA. I’ll see you there with fresh copies of First Watch and Civil Dusk, ready to be signed!