A very brief update on where I'm at with both the final draft of Transformation and the first draft of My Family and Other Ghosts. I'm about to take a break from My Family to complete Transformation.
Firstly, on My Family: I've now finished chapter four, A Visit From Alex, putting the word count currently at 14,000 words. Pretty pleased with how it's panning out, but think there are some pacing issues to address on the second draft. I may actually make a first pass at addressing those once I've seen how the whole of part one pans out. There are things I've introduced the opening chapters that I think might be better saved until later on, but I'll see how things flow for a bit longer.
I think the break will also give me a chance to re-evaluate a few aspects, particularly the need for more actual events rather than just confusing conversations in the first part. I have some ideas, teased by the phrase 'culture riots' that I dropped into chapter four. Helicopters may be involved...
However, first, it's time to complete Transformation. My son/editor has cast his annoyingly expert gaze across the revised draft, and has copious notes to share with me tomorrow when I visit him. That usually takes quite a few hours of friendly argument, before I eventually concede he's probably right. Other than typos which I'll fix immediately, I'll come away and consider how to attack his points. He usually has good ideas on this, but they won't necessarily fit with my vision for the book, so sometimes I'll find better ways of addressing them.
I know he thinks there's an extra chapter needed somewhere, and some other bits that can be pared away, so at least there will be a bit of creativity needed in amongst the more mundane stupidity I've left in. For example, he complained about my use of the phrase 'did you fair any better,' to which I replied, 'fare enough.'
Hopefully, by early next week, I'll be able to judge how far away from publishing the novel I am. I'd love to get it out by Christmas, but I think that's probably a bit optimistic, unless I can make the required changes quickly.
Once those are done, and proof-read, then I'll need to get it formatted for Kindle (usually quick) and for paperback (a bit more involved), get it uploaded to Amazon, verify everything, order and check a proof copy of the paperback, and then submit for approval. Luckily, I've already prepared the graphics, the blurb and all the other required collateral, so the final website changes needed should be straightforward.
In the middle of this, I have a visit from my son for a few days over my birthday, when I expect we'll discuss it further, maybe requiring a couple more tweaks.
So, Christmas may be a bit optimistic, but pretty sure it will be out no later than the end of January 2020.
I'll be back with another blog post once I've completed the final draft with an update of the expected ETA. I'll also update the preview on the website of the first three chapters to the final draft of the novel.