I’ve picked up the novel I AM again, and Im into the first draft through about 45 pages. Although I have more than that written from when I set it down, most of the remaining text is scattered through various chapters of the book—things I wrote for each part of the story so that I could pick it up again after The Balance was published.
I AM takes place over a period that straddles the fall, winter, and spring months of 2020-2021. It’s written for a New Adult audience, but I think Young Adults and Adults will like it as well. Most of the story happens near the fictional town of Long Lake, in the foothills of the Appalachians. Long Lake is a university town and both of the main characters attend school there.
I hope to have the first draft done in a couple of months, although—the way I write—the final version probably won’t be complete until sometime next year. I tend to write in layers, and the first draft usually represents bout 5% of the total effort needed to get the book into what I consider publishable form. I categorize my revisions by their level of maturity. Draft is level zero, publishable is level 5, and I may send it to beta readers at level 3, or level 4. A single revision is a fraction of a level. Going from level 3 to level 5 for The Balance required first 6 revisions of each chapter by myself, followed by an editor’s pass to make suggestions for changes, and then another pass after I reviewed and adapted his changes. Then there were two passes by a proof reader (another editor), and a final polishing look by me again.
The Boy Who Ran required 200 passes before I was satisfied that it was ready for the editor.
I still find things I wish I’d phrased differently in both books, and I (of course) can find an error in any book, mine included. Perfection, I think, would take forever.