Well, it’s finally done. And by “done” I mean not even remotely done, but I can at least move on to the next stage.
Red Dragon Five — the second book in the Wolf Dasher series — is ready for someone else to read. Maybe I should explain my process here.
First I write the novel. Then I read the first draft. No one else ever sees the first draft. It’s not so much that I’m ashamed of it; it’s just that I know it isn’t good enough yet, so there’s no point in letting anyone else have a look at it. I read that first draft, make a whole bunch of notes, and then go through it chapter by chapter, rewriting it.
Then I let others read it. I listen to their suggestions, and I make more changes. I repeat this process until I’m satisfied with what I have.
For Red Dragon Five, I intend to stratify things a little more. The first person to read the book will be my editor. I’m going to let her rip it apart and then make the changes (most of them, anyway) she suggests.
Once I’ve got a third draft, I’ll give it back to her and involve a group of beta readers to solicit their feedback. Synthesizing what I hear from them, I’ll then write a fourth draft I’ll let my editor have another crack at.
So, yeah, this whole writing and publishing a novel thing takes a little time to do right. And this time I added an extra complication. When I wrote State of Grace, I put the chapter titles in as I wrote it, adding timestamps as well. But the rewriting process caused me to have to do a lot of that over. So this time I didn’t add chapter titles until after I’d finished the second draft. Which meant I had to go back and read it again.
Frankly, I’m ready for someone else to see it. I’ve been living with this book since the turn of the year, and I want some feedback. I want to feel like it’s moving forward. Publishing requires patience, and sometimes that’s really irritating.
But I’ve got the second draft finished. I’ll deliver it to my editor by tomorrow.
Then I’ll try not to be nervous while I wait to see what she thinks.