top of page

๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ=โœ…: Second Draft Complete!


Another milestone reached! After an intensive effort, the second draft of Two Earths Are Better Than None is complete.


That's the most effort I've put into a second draft. Not that there was anything majorly wrong with the first โ€“ I was so pleased with it, I thought it deserved a lot of the attention I'd normally reserve for the third draft after reader feedback.


I've sharpened up the language, improved the character arcs, chopped a couple of unnecessary introductions, expanded a few others, and generally polished everything. It's as good as I can get it without feedback and a break so I can come back to it fresh.


Unusually, the second draft ended up 1,000 words less than the first. I typically manage to add back in more than I delete, but it ended up at 102,830 words.


Along the way, I've renamed many chapters and changed the word counts compared to my report at the end of each part, so I thought I'd provide an update on each. Yes, I know this bit's boring, and mainly for me. Feel free to skip to after the last image!


Part One: Three chapters, 11,115 words

Part Two: Seven chapters, 31,288 words

Part Three: Six chapters, 24,564 words

Part Four: Four chapters, 17,801 words

Part Five: Five chapters, 18,062 words

Still awake? Some terrible puns are hidden in those titles, but you'll have to read the book to make them out. Right, so what's next?


First;y, I need a break from it, likely around a month. I'll think of the story as little as possible during that period. By its end, I'll have received feedback from my expertly critical beta reader (aka, my son), and the break allows me to come at it with a fresher eye. Then it'll be on with the third draft, which usually requires more significant changes.


I'll be busy in the meantime. Besides a backlog of things to do around the house and garden, now that Spring's (sort of) sprung, I intend to submit this novel to a few agents to see if I can go the traditional publishing route this time. I believe I've improved significantly since my last attempt, so nothing ventured...


That needs a lot of preparation, even though it's a couple of drafts away. I have to select the likely agents, prepare cover letters and write a synopsis. I hate the latter! I may as well get started on that.


In the usual spirit of hoping for the best, planning for the worst, I'll also prepare the novel for self-publication. It won't be wasted effort, even if things go the traditional route. Writing the blurb, crafting the page on my website, distilling character sketches for the page, etcetera, often makes me think of things in a different way, which I can feed into the third draft.


The more exciting item on the list, which I'm desperately trying to ignore until I've got the more painful things done, is to start looking ahead to my next project. It's in the early stages, although I've copious notes with too many things to go into the novel. The first task will be to decide which way to go with the primary and secondary protagonists. That will drive the shape of the story.


It has a working title of The Fractal Assassin. It's a wider-scale SF tale than my usual novels, set in the aftermath of a decades-long interstellar war. The peace is uneasy, and attempts at reconciliation are underway. Putting a bunch of undercover agents from all sides alone together to share experiences is sure to end well, right?


It'll start off with the feel of an SF murder mystery but isn't. What is revealed in the reconciliation sessions will... be a surprise to me too. I need to put the jigsaw pieces of my ideas together and let my characters tell me which route ahead they'd like to experience.


I'd better get on with things!

The Muffler's Ministry cover
The Muffler's Mission cover
In Memory of Chris Parsons cover
A Vision of Unity cover
A Division of Order cover
A Revision of Reality cover
Two Earths Are Better Than None (Web).jpg
Scouring Juventas - Tile.jpg
MiseryCover (Web).jpg
Mutterings of Consequence.jpg
Substrate Constraints (Web).jpg
bottom of page