It's finally complete. I've just finished the changes for the final draft of my next novel, My Family and Other Ghosts. The feedback I received from my son really helped to pull the story together, and wrap up the story arcs much better. The word count has now increased to 84,000 words, despite trimming quite a bit of fluff.
The additional word count is primarily done to the new sections I added. A few of the holes in the narrative were best fixed by adding interludes between each of the five parts. The interlude between part 3 and part 4 was largely a repurposed version of what the first chapter of part 4 used to be, but the others are entirely new. I'm pleased with how they work.
That now gives the following structure to the nov
Part 1 – Chris
Interlude – The White Room
Part 2 – Lisa
Interlude – The Bedroom
Part 3 – Alex
Interlude – The Accident
Part 4 – The Parsons
Interlude – The Conjunction
Part 5 – Chris, Lisa, and Alex
And that's it. My next step is to prepare a submission package to see if I can get an agent interested. I really hope so – I'm very pleased with this novel, which is so different, and more personal than anything I've written before. Of course, if I do, I won't be self-publishing it, and I'd expect to do further changes after feedback.
However, as I used to do when I was managing development projects, I'll be hoping for the best case, but preparing for the worst. As the worst is self-publishing it myself, that's a pretty good outcome anyway.
Given the timeline of where we're at right now, assuming I get no bites from eager agents, and assuming other routes I may look at don't bear fruit, I expect to self-publish around the middle of August 2020. I'll be preparing everything, getting proof copies of the paperback, and all that jazz, so everything's ready if I decide to go ahead. Then I just have to push the button and let Amazon do its magic.
Once I've sent out all my submissions, ahem fully prepared everything, and have sorted my shed out, I'll be getting back to The Muffler's Ministry. But that's a subject for another day.