Douglas Adams once famously said “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” And that’s pretty much been my motto as I’ve progressed through this draft of the revised novel. I mean, I have the luxury of being able to take my time and get it right (there’s no editor chasing), so as long as I continue to make progress, it’s all good, right?
My original plan was to get it done by the end of July but some plot points really held me up, as the old story diverged into the new. But it has moved forwards, even if at times it only creeped.
But after going through that difficult two thirds stage of the novel, I’ve emerged the other side, and suddenly the end seems in sight. I have the luck of having the actual end already written (the last 15,000 words or so) so it’s just a case of writing the last few connecting scenes.
So my plan is to get it done by Fantasycon. Not, as Adam Christopher joked, so that I can assault agents and publishers with it – it’s still a draft and will need quite a bit of work yet before it’s in any fit state. No, it’ll mean that I can go there and talk (if conversation gets round to it) about a novel that is written rather than being written.
I’m actually pretty pleased with it (secretly, I’m quietly confident that it’s actually really good). There are some chapters that need smoothing out a little, but by and large, it’s a pretty good novel, with tone and pace and character arc, pretty much in place already.
I can also safely say that there’s nothing else like it out on the market. There may be a sensible reason for this. Other than it being fantasy, I really can’t pinpoint it to a sub-genre. It’s the type of fantasy novel I’d like to read, and for that I’m pretty proud of it.
Of course, attention now turns to the title. Book 1 was going to be called ‘The Thieving King’, but after plot elements got pushed out to book 2 when I split the book up, that’ll probably be the second book title. With book 1, I have some ideas, nouns mainly, but it all seems a bit too Sci-Fi right now.
The surprising thing is just how quickly it all comes together once you break free of that dreaded two thirds. I had that happen when I wrote the first draft of Refugees and I thought it was a quirk.
So there’s still a load of work to be done, but it’s finally looking like a complete draft will be done, which as my friends will attest to, is a landmark occasion. I don’t worry too much, Patrick Rothfuss approached his first novel in a similar way, and look at him.