If you follow my little home on the web, you may have noticed that it has been the better part of a month since I have updated it. If you follow me on Twitter (and if not, why not?), you would at least know I’m alive, even though you’d still be missing the updates here.
As the title of this post may indicate, my absence from this site is due to me throwing myself into a month of straight editing and revision, polishing Till Death Do Us Party’s second draft. For anybody that doesn’t follow along—or, let’s face it, simply can’t remember what’s going on after a month’s radio silence—I have included the links to those updates below.
- The First Five Chapters: Draft Deux
- The Next Nine Chapters: Draft Deux
- The Subsequent Sixteen Chapters: Draft Deux
This is probably as good a point as any to discuss the changes made to the second draft, but first, I will direct you to those links above. While I do love it when people click my links and drive up those page views (it makes me feel incredibly important and special), take a moment to add up the chapters.
If you struggle with maths, or simply figure “screw that, I’m not here to do mental arithmetic,” I’ve included the calculation below:
5 + 9 + 16 = 30
It’s mind blowing, isn’t it?
Now that you’ve taken a moment to let your brain recover from that mighty revelation, the figure above is incorrect. Till Death Do Us Party does not include thirty chapters at all; it includes thirty-four chapters. “What?” I hear you ask. “Did Was lie to me?”
Before you spend too much time ruminating over my disappointing behaviour, as I edited, the manuscript grew, and so did the chapters. When it comes to writing a book, conventional wisdom (by the way, to any writers out there, fuck conventional wisdom. If you’re defying it, and it works for you, great. Do your thing) states that your chapter length should be anywhere between one thousand and five thousand words. Thanks to my conventional wisdom fucking ways, some of the book’s chapters exceed the five thousand word threshold. Which is cool, but I don’t have the stamina to keep fucking conventional wisdom when the paragraphs started exceeding six thousand words.
On four occasions, my editing caused four chapters to grow past this point:
- Chapters 5 & 6: 5,744 words as at the last update; now 6,254 words combined (3,065 and 3,189 words, respectively)
- Chapters 19 & 20: 5,930 words as at the last update; now 6,157 words combined (2,968 and 3,189 (again—three chapters currently have 3,189 words!) words, respectively)
- Chapters 26 & 27: 5,878 words as at the last update; now 6,140 words combined (2,659 and 3,481 words, respectively)
- Chapters 32 & 33: 5,887 words as at the last update; now 6,558 words combined (2,963 and 3,595 words, respectively)
For a comparison showing how these chapters have shifted since the first draft, I have provided a handy chart below. It’s just like the chart I added to the last update, but updated. And interactive!
As the yellow bars (and the red bars before them) show, this book is getting longer, and currently stands at 131,379 words. The book could possibly stand to lose a little weight, so when I work on the third draft (after I take a break from this last marathon), I may give the manuscript some liposuction, aiming for something a little more taut.
As you can probably tell by now, this entire article is an exercise in saying “it got bigger.” Those three words might be more economic than the 762 words in this article, but let’s face it: it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as fun.
Other than adding more and more words to Till Death Do Us Party, the final revision was about cleaning up the text, maintaining the tone of the prose throughout, and making sure I had written the characters consistently. When I start the third draft, I’ll be looking at the structure of the book, and removing excess fat. One thing I haven’t been with the book so far is brutal, but I’ll update the site with my tales of savagery.
But before that, I’ll let my wife read the draft and brace for her savagery. Assuming I survive her feedback, I’ll resume posting more than monthly.