Last Monday at around 22:45 Central European Time I completed the first draft of my second novel after a final one and a half hour writing session. I'm still a bit dazed by all this to be honest, mostly due to the speed at which I finished this draft.
I started writing this novel last October (I had to check my version control system for the exact date), but didn't do much work in November and December due to the release of Gift of the Destroyer. I also had to cut a whole chapter during this time. In essence, I wrote around 90-95% in the last 5 months. The first draft of Gift of the Destroyer took me a year to finish, and I spent another year and a half editing it (not counting the revisions suggested by Gareth a month ago). Basically, I did the writing phase twice as fast. I bet I can cut the editing phase from a year and a half to about two months.
Why? A number of reasons.
- Much of the delay in Gift of the Destroyer was due to waiting for feedback from proofreaders. I know which of them are fast readers now. And I know which ones give the best feedback.
- No paper proofreading copies. They tend to start leading lives of their own. I still believe 3 copies of the Gift of the Destroyer second draft are "out there somewhere", as well as 2 copies of the third draft.
- Much of the time I spent editing was manually checking for use of weak words, passive voice and inappropriate adverbs. Most of the searching can be done automatically with tools such as EditMinion (or in my case: my homebrew reverse-engineered variety that also checks for mistakes I often make).
While I'm waiting for feedback on the second novel, I'll be doing some much needed relaxing as well as blogging. My post count has dropped dramatically since my initial foray into blogging.
I might even make that custom Wordpress theme now.