Monday, January 24, 2011

The End.

Ah, there’s nothing quite like writing the two words above. They mean I’ve finished the first draft of the latest book, in this case, Zero Point. However, by no means has the work ended, only word-counts have ended. While writing a book I aim for 2000 words a day five days a week (a target I often miss), and I record the number of words to drive myself. That’s no longer necessary.

Zero Point is at 152,000 words and will probably grow as I have yet to write my characteristic chapter starts. It will be, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, about the size of The Skinner. Hereafter I’ll probably be deleting as many words as I write as I apply a number of rules. If I’m waffling I delete it, if it’s not relevant to the plot, or to character or world building, I delete it. Time lines and timings have to work. Polemic, while fun, should be either discarded, or consigned to one of those chapter starts where the reader has the liberty to either read and enjoy it or ignore it. Mostly it will be discarded. The English will need tidying up. Lots.

It may be the case that during this process I’ll chop out some large chunks because they add nothing or need completely rewriting. These I’ll consign to the file with the title Jupiter War, where I may use bits of them. Time for a celebration now? No, because I’m still in temperance January. I’ll save up this thirst for next month.


vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

'If I’m waffling I delete it, if it’s not relevant to the plot, or to character or world building, I delete it.'

still like it when your characters 'lovingly inspect' or 'nervously pick at' stuff. gives some depth. irrelevant, yet ...saucy.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...



Ian said...

When setting out to write the
first draft of a novel do you
work from a detailed outline,
planned and written beforehand?
Or do you plunge right into the
writing with only the sketchiest
of outlines in mind, preferring
to let the elements of your
novel evolve organically in
tandem with the actual writing?

Andrew said...

Great! When do we get to see it?

Publishing time lines always interest me. I never realised how much work goes on after the first draft is completed until I read the blogs of some of my favourite authors.

Could you elaborate on what will happen to the book going forward?

Conan the Librarian™ said...

Ah, pissup February, my favourite month.

Athena said...

Congrats! I love those chapter starts, so fun to read! :)

Neal Asher said...

Vaude, but that sort of stuff is part of character building ... 'nervously pick at' as opposed to say 'snatched it up in one claw and gobbled it down'.

Ian, the latter. I never have any more than a vague idea of where I'm going, and sometimes not even that. It all happens at the keyboard.

Andrew, after I hand a book over it's a year until the book is published. Before then it goes through one lot of heavy editing and two lots of copy editing. This one I don't have to hand in until August, so it probably won't be published until August/September 2012.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

should've been more detailed in my character wordage.

could use more of that nervous picking is all i'm sayin. give em...uh, blisters from scab tourette.
then let me poof rede.

Andrew said...

My word that takes a long time.

To put that into perspective: In the same time I would have designed a school, a theatre, a shopping centre and significant structural modifications to an Embassy in London.

They would probably have been built too.

Considering the length of time between finishing the book and hitting the shelves in book stores, do you get nervous when a book is launched?

I always worry about my structure fitting together properly, standing up etc. etc.