Exciting news… After one year and two months, draft 1 of novel WIP#6 is finished. This will be book 3 of my Belfast Ghosts trilogy.
Normally I crank out my first drafts pretty quickly; in around 6 months or so. For a first draft to take me 14 months means it was a lot of work – and this one sure was. I’d say this was the most research-heavy book I’ve ever written, in fact. I am thankful to a few fantastic libraries for providing the relevant books: Queen’s University Belfast and the McGrath library. Nevertheless, primary sources tended to gloss over the specifics. In a nutshell, medieval writers weren’t big on the battle specifics. I’ve groaned about this in a previous post, but I’ll say it again; as much as historical gaps are good for a writer, giving free reign to the imagination, I want there to be much more authenticity in my work, even though it is a ghost story, not historical fiction. How to accomplish this when the evidence is scant, is another matter.
Gripes aside, I am happy to be finished. The draft is rough – very rough – and so I have jotted down notes on continuity issues to check for. But the skeleton of the story is finished, at last, and I can flesh out the parts I need to when I get back to the next draft. In the meantime I shall be taking a week off to clear my head, during which time I’ll be reading an ARC I’ve been sent, reading another book for review and reading Bindweed submissions, in addition to gearing up to outline the sequel for The Buddha’s Bone. It’s all in a day’s work.
My plan is, after a week or so of head-rinsing time, I will get stuck back into re-reading the entire draft before fleshing out any relevant bits, cutting the bits that need trimmed, and checking for any continuity errors. From there, it will be onto my editor, proofreader and hopefully ready for ARCs by late summer. A vague plan, but can I stick to it? Let’s see.