A second first draft for 2011!

For the second time this year, I have had the distinct pleasure of completing the first draft of a novel. For the first time I realize what is still ahead of me.

My debut title, The Anvil of the Craftsman, took three months to complete, the first draft coming in at roughly 94,500 words. The Britteridge Heresy took almost five, with a word count of just over 80, 000. The reasons are the many more tasks that need my attention, as this odd self-publishing enterprise has gotten underway.

I write from an outline, following the Snowflake Method. There are still surprises along the way. Scenes come to mind that provide a smoother transition from one plot point to another. The editing process, to my astonishment, seems to be a gain instead of a loss on word count. AOTC picked up nearly six hundred words during the proofreading and through its main edit.

I did not expect the editing process to be as painstaking as it must be to produce literature instead of crap. Waiting for edits is Chinese Water Torture. The novel that took me three months to pound out took twice that amount of time to revise, because punctuation and grammar must be perfect. Perfection comes at a cost, which is time.

I found out that though I cultivate patience, I am not by nature a patient person. However, I do understand the utility of productive patience, which is taking the time necessary to produce a desired result. The results from the editing of AOTC will be worth it. If graced to write but a single novel, I would be glad for it to have been this one.

BH is also satisfying in that it includes more strong female characters than fit into the storyline of AOTC, which largely took place in a Muslim country. The relationships between men and women also play a role, along with other social themes. It was a worthwhile effort. Just as AOTC gave birth to the sequel, BH has inspired a follow-up, which will be my third title in the series. After that, I do not know where the characters are going, but then neither did I envision a sequel much less a trilogy.

We are companions on a path, this writing and I. I am not sure what God is doing, but neither do I need to know to be useful. That requires only faith, and action. Let it be.

Choose to love, -DA


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