I’m pleased to announce that I’ve finally finished the first draft of my new book, Twelve Kings in Sharakhai! I finished what I refer to as the zeroth draft about two months ago, but I don’t really consider the very first pass of a book a readable draft. That first raw draft is filled with so many needed changes, that I wouldn’t (under normal circumstances) send it out for review. Why? Because of the simple fact that I know there are so many things wrong with it. If you’re going to have someone review your work, you want them focusing on the things that you can’t find, not wasting their time and yours on the things you already know need fixing.
So what I do when I’m working on the zeroth draft is make the book as readable as I can without going back and changing the small things that would be better left for later. To be clear, I will go back and revise if I find something that’s critical to the plot or so much a part of the character that I’d have trouble writing about them unless I fleshed it out. But unless I find those sorts of things, I’ll simply take down a note and forge ahead, knowing I’ll go back on the run-through after the draft is done and fix it up. That’s why I don’t consider a draft ready until the second pass is complete.
I’m feeling really good about this book. It’s not perfect. It’ll probably need at least two more passes before I’m done. But it’s ready for critical readers. I’ll be sending it off soon to my editors and my agent, plus a few beta readers. Then in several weeks (or months), when I get all their feedback back, I’ll work on the second draft, which will consist of two steps: specific changes as per the recommendations of my editors and readers, plus another full run-through. Then it’s probably off to production, but we’ll see. One step at a time.
If you’re curious to get an idea of what this book is going to feel like, it’s basic aesthetic, take a look at the Pinterest page I created for it. I use it for inspiration, but it’s also useful to give people an idea of the book’s tone and feel.
I also created a page for the cover, the type of tone I hope the cover strikes. To be clear, though, I don’t imagine I’ll get a lot of control over the cover. This is just my way of collecting my thoughts on the subject in case I do.
And here are a few of my favorite images: