First Draft of "Caretakers" COMPLETE!

I handed the finished first draft of my second novel, "Caretakers", to my beta-reader on Friday night.

This version of the book came in at just a hair under 95,000 words.

The beta-reader started reading Friday night, and finished the roughly 400 page novel Saturday evening; she spent Sunday compiling her notes and going over them with me.

In terms of major work, we've identified a scene that needs to be added, another that needs to be expanded upon, and a third chunk that will have to be cut from the book ... all of these should serve to enhance the flow and understandability of the novel. Minor things were identified throughout the draft, to increase clarity or flow.

This novel is more complete as a first draft than "Here Be Monsters" was, and the beta-readers promises me that it's a better book ... more complex, more of a mystery, more exciting (I'm still nervous, but hopeful).

My plan is to take a few days off from thinking about the book before I start revising and correcting and adding and subtracting from "Caretakers" ... I already cheated ... I've been doing some work on an idea for the cover, and will probably spend some time this afternoon noodling with some photos, to see how they look when jammed into the templates.

From here on out, there's some drudgery. I'll read the book about a half-dozen times, fixing as I go, shooting various drafts to various readers to get their feelings about bits and pieces, as well as the whole thing. Eventually, when none of us can see the words any longer, I'll send it to my copy editor, and she will polish it into a market-ready work. Then Gail and I will fiddle and format the book and front and back matter and cover into a finished product, which should be available early in the New Year (if everything goes to plan).



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