I finished editing and revising the beta version of Six (with Seven) today. That’s Book Three of the Incomplete States series. I began editing and revising it on September 24 of this year, so my editing and revising process has kept going at a decent pass.
The editing and revising process was draining, requiring most of my mental energy. Not surprising, as editing and revising your work forces you to confront weaknesses and doubts. I know that it’s made me more of pain in the ass to live with than usual. Although there are chapters that leave me a little wary, I feel good about the book and project. Part of that is the simple satisfaction of completing another step in the project, but there’s also the element that I’m satisfied as a reader that the writer wrote a decent tale. I was also pleased because some of my worries and fears were allayed. I kept thinking as I edited and revised the book that I needed to do more to clarify matters and tie together the disparate story lines. Then I discovered that hurrah, I did that when I wrote, edited and revised it back when it was the subject of my focus.
The chapters that leave me wary will confuse some readers. They’ll require close reading to follow them, patience, intelligence, and an open mind. So, do I dilute them to reduce those challenges, or leave them? I left them as is for now, as that feels right. This, of course, was the first go in editing and revising, so that can change in one of the next go-arounds.
Of course, the readers can skip these chapters and go on to the final two chapters, which strain the mud out.
I like how Six (with Seven) ends, moving the series’ stories forward, clarifying more, and setting up Book Four, An Undying Quest. I also have more appreciation for the title, Six (with Seven). It’s more whimsical and cleverer than I first realized. I’m not being immodest, but recognize that a lot of these decisions have subconscious insights going on that I don’t appreciate at first.
With three hundred twenty-two pages in Word and less than eighty thousand words, Six (with Seven) remains a slender book in my general pantheon of fiction writing.
Tomorrow, I begin editing and revising Book Four, An Undying Quest. Once it’s completed, I’ll have a first draft of all four. With some hope and luck, it’ll all make sense and flow together to a decent ending.
Now, the coffee is gone. Time to go for a walk, have lunch, do some yardwork, and maybe have a beer to celebrate.