Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance handed off to editor

On Thursday, I handed off the manuscript to the editor, Joel. I was three days late, unfortunately, so I missed my self-imposed deadline. Curses!
Joel will be working on the 78,000 word manuscript in sections. He expects to be done with editing by November 5th.  This means that I’ll have to push back my original release date estimate from “late October” to “early November”.
Since Joel will be giving me his edits back in chunks, I should be able to get the edits resolved very soon after November 5th.  I’ll try to get it all done and submitted to Amazon by the end of that weekend. It takes up to 2 days to get approved and online. So, in a best case scenario, Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance will be available for purchase on Amazon by November 9th.
That’s all the gritty business detail. Now for some musings on the travails of creativity.
I broke my mind last weekend trying to get the manuscript ready for editing deadline on Monday. I worked on the manuscript a couple hours on Friday after real work (technical writing), four hours on Saturday, and seven hours on Sunday. By the end of Sunday, my mind was stuck in the “on” position, and I couldn’t stop thinking! I couldn’t sleep, even though I also couldn’t work any more on the story. After a while, I got up and watched some TV and played some Borderlands. Finally, I got exhausted enough to go to bed and sleep despite an overactive mind.
On Monday I was burned out and couldn’t work on the manuscript, even though I only had 24 pages left to rewrite. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I banged out those last pages. Whew!
From now on I’m going to avoid writing for seven hours in a row. Anything more than five hours is less efficient. And, it burns out my imagination. Three hours per day on the weekend seems like a good goal. Let’s shoot for that.
And now for some numbers:
The first draft of Dead Dwarves Don’t Dance capped out at 88,332 words. The fourth draft is 78,165 words. So, over the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th drafts, I pared away over 10,000 words. I’m not surprised. I always put too much content in the first draft.
I wrote the first draft 15 years ago, and it took me about three months. Rewriting this year took me 3 ½ months, and about 47 hours of sitting at the computer (plus unknown hours thinking about it).
Now, the end game is nigh, and I’ll soon have a full-length novel on Amazon. Woot!


  1. Congratulations on getting the manuscript handed over to the editor. That's one more step closer to publication!

    I'm really curious about those 10,000 words. Are they just going down the bit bucket? Is there stuff in there that you will keep, and use in another story?

  2. Congrats! Looking forward to seeing it when it comes out.

    Have you considered taking a page from Konrath's book and trying a big reviewer push? I am actually planning to do that myself, hopefully next month.

  3. Thanks, all!

    Stitch, some of the 10,000 will make it into another book, yes. But, most of it was cleaning up dialog attribution, excessive description, and so on. I think the biggest actual scene I deleted was only 1000 words or so.

    KevinMc, that's a good idea. I'll have to go review how Konrath did it and see if I can do the same.

  4. Finishing up your book now, I found it on Amazon by accident. Very entertaining and recommended to anyone who likes Shadowrun style cyberpunk or just a good futuristic thriller.

    Who did your cover? That was what initially sold me.

  5. Nathaniel, I'm glad you liked the book and thanks for the kind words! If you want to help out a bit, you could leave a review on Amazon. ;) Thanks!

  6. Nathaniel, Igor Kieryluk did the cover. He's an awesome artist!

  7. Kindle says that I am 80% through the book. More! :-)

  8. Jorn, glad you like it! There will be a sequel novel next year. Otherwise, there are Dead Dwarves short stories in both Dead Dwarves, Dirty Deeds and Twelve Worlds.

  9. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!