Most of February was consumed with the final push to complete my first fiction project, which was wrapped up a week ago today and sent in to my editor last Monday for the first step of the revision process. This book is still scheduled for publication on July 10, so it won’t be long before I’ll get the manuscript back for more work that will hopefully make it the best it can be.
I’ve enjoyed the novel writing process, but certainly found it more challenging than my previous nonfiction books. I suppose that’s because with fiction, there are limitless options and directions a story can go once you create a group of characters and place them in an interesting situation or predicament. Along the way, I had many ideas regarding the plot, some that stayed intact, and others that changed in ways I wouldn’t have predicted – hopefully for the better.
Here’s a photo of the manuscript that I posted on my personal Facebook page last Monday, as soon as it was finished. It’s a big pile of paper that represents a lot of work at the keyboard, but completing it ranks right up there with making landfall after a sailing voyage, or paddling a new river top to bottom. Writing a novel is something I’ve always wanted to do, and finally, everything has aligned to make it possible.
This first draft came to a total of 109,415 words. The way the plot was unfolding near the end, I could have easily expanded it another 20,000 words or more, but there will eventually be a sequel to continue the story where this book leaves off.
I will post the title and description of this novel just as soon as my publisher (Ulysses Press) finalizes the cover design. As you might expect, it is related to my recent non-fiction books on the topics of survival, and therefore is an adventure/thriller type story with some of the techniques presented in those other books put into play by the characters.