I just typed in the last sentence of the new novel. The first draft is 80,893 words. I’m just about to do an intensive reading and copyedit before sending it off to the editor in the first week of August. I feel like I can breathe again.
This was the first time I continually made revisions to the chapter outline as I wrote the novel, deleting one chapter after another. It went from 27 chapters to 22 as I realized I was falling victim to a case of getting too caught up in verisimilitude—paying too much attention to the protagonist’s actual historical timeline. It’s a common hazard in writing historical fiction. Over time, it became evident that not everything was needed as part of the story. What was relevant to the story I had actually developed? So omitting a lot of detail was key in finishing the novel. But I agonized a lot about what to omit.
So I’m still on track and meeting my deadlines. Dark Lady of Doona will be released later this year, but the exact date depends on how the editing process goes and how long it takes to get the cover art together, do all the formatting, etc. I am thrilled to be at this stage. The third novel beckons. The first draft of it is already complete, as it was my NaNoWriMo project for November 2011. I’m trying to decide what to do for NaNoWriMo 2012, and have actually decided to take a temporary break from the part-time teaching assistant job so I can focus on my life as an author this fall. There’s a bit of a tug of war on what should be the fourth novel, but I suppose I should worry about the third one for now. :)
And for anyone looking for something to put on their summer reading list—The Veiled Mirror: The Story of Prince Vlad Dracula’s Lost Love, is available for free on the Smashwords website for the month of July. Use coupon code SSWIN at checkout.