6th Draft Is Done!

I’m closing in on the finish line and I feel pretty good.

The novel shrunk by more than six thousand words and about sixteen pages. At first, as the numbers shrank, I felt a little nervous, all of that fear around cutting too much. In that last third of the book, I had momentum around the cuts and it felt more and more right. In fact, I feel like I really tightened up the book overall, particularly the last third. Previous drafts had a little too much bouncing around toward the end where my main characters are supposed to be tracking down the murderer.

This morning as I finished up my last couple hours of editing, I felt, for the first time, like I was getting close to finishing the novel. By finishing, I mean getting the book “done” as opposed to just finishing the most recent draft. That’s a good feeling.

I still have some questions to answer for myself, mostly ones posed by my editor and I figure the best way to answer those is to experience the book again as a reader. That will also give me the best sense of how the changes I made are affecting the book overall.  So my next step is to read the book.

Next steps to finalize the content:

  1. Have a beta reader give it a quick, gut-check read through.
  2. Do my own gut-check read through.
  3. Make a final determination on some of the issues I’m still sitting on the fence on.
  4. Spot fix anything that jumps out from 1-3.

My goal is to have 1 & 2 done by 11/20 and 3 done by 11/20 or 11/22. I am still aiming at having all of the book content in the can by 12/1. Really, to have the whole book done by 12/1.

By whole book, I mean the content and all of the things that need done beyond the content. To that end, I’ve made good progress on the cover. I’ve got the mock-up I posted about and another version with more stylized fonts. The photo shoot for the final version is scheduled for this coming Saturday. I am “officially” strongly leaning toward Murder & Mochas as the title, although Death & Omelets is running a fun second. I’ve also got a draft written for both my Dedication and Acknowledgments.

The rest of the tasks to finalize the whole project:

  1. Finalize cover.
  2. Finalize title.
  3. Finalize Dedication.
  4. Finalize Acknowledgements.
  5. Write back cover synopsis.
  6. Write short blurb.
  7. Write author bio.
  8. Plan book launch party.

I’m probably forgetting one or two things, but that list looks like plenty! Still a lot of work to do, but right now I’m not feeling daunted by it. I am feeling excited because I can finally see myself closing in on completing this project!

Okay, so the next big decision is do I read on paper or a kindle? But I take tonight off.


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