Finished a first draft

The last few weeks have been a bit rough for writing. I was hoping that getting ahead on the serial would keep going, but it didn't. Instead, I ended up focusing on other projects to push them closer to completion.

Two weeks ago, I finished my last commission (at least for a while). As word count goes, it was a miserable failure and came in at 43k words for a 15k word commission. Thankfully, the feedback was mostly positive and I only had to rework a few thousand words. I'm hoping to get that back out in the next day or so.

Another big project hit a milestone last night: I finished the first draft of BAM.

I'm trying not to get hung up on word counts or how fast I write, but it is hard. I'm proud of those technical skills, but that ego has gotten in the way more than once. And it means I'm focusing on the wrong thing.

I'm pretty happy with the end, it is bittersweet but positive at the same time. I also went with a slight modification to my writing style by reducing the average chapter from 6k to 2k. I'm happy with the the results, but the final climax ended up being 8k (admittedly, there is a lot going on in that chapter, including most of the wind-down).

There are a few big things left with BAM before it's "done":

  • Finish the naming language, Miwāfu
  • Create the front cover
  • Finishing putting it through the writing group
  • Internal consistency check
  • Finish round two and three for editing
  • Find some beta readers
  • Hire an editor for the final round

Miwāfu is going to be fun one. I already have glyphs for it that will be on the back cover, but I want to make them functional instead of just random squiggles. Silly, I know, but I enjoy things like that so might as well add it into the book.

I'm not sure about the cover, but I'm going to make a shot at it. I have an idea of how to create a common theme for the covers (BAM and its two proposed sequels, FOTS and the potential stories after that). Assuming this takes me a few years to complete, I want to have the same artist for all the covers for consistency. I think I'm a fairly good artist, plus I have a style in mind that is relatively close to my skill level. We'll find out later, but I'm going to at least try.

The consistency check is one of the nasty tasks. As much as someone said I write young adult, I write what I consider a gritty style. In BAM, I'm start with a compound fracture (helpfully learned during Boy Scouts). It goes downhill from there, but I want to make sure that it is logical when becomes important. I know what I can do with a cracked rib and a broken wrist, but can I make it interesting while still dramatic? That will be the hard part.

Getting an editor is the one I dread the most. Everything else I can do with the power of the Internet and the skills I already have (or can improve). The last requires funding, something that I'm finding difficult. But, BAM is considerably shorter than FOTS, and therefore more affordable. Also, I have a couple plans to handle the funding side of it, but I have plenty to work on before that.

Regardless, I'm exited and looking forward to the next steps.