As most of you know, I’ve been super focused on getting Zap Dragon published, which means I’ve been a bit silent on the Hidden Mythics II progress.
In the background, I have been editing the novel. My Alpha reader’s feedback has been amazing. Many times readers highlight different things. This is the beauty of having very different readers. One will pick up on a plot hole here while another will point out the areas where a certain type of tension would work better than what I’ve currently written. When all of the readers say the same thing, I really know I need to fix something.
I knew going into the Alpha reading that the manuscript was bulky, but there comes a point where I’ve looked at the story so much that I can’t see the forest for the trees. My readers confirmed what I already knew. The manuscript needed pairing down – a lot! – and my readers were able to help me figure out where.
So this current edit has focused mostly on trimming the fat, as it were. My goal was to cut 15% or just over 25K words. I’ve accomplished that! Crossed that finish line last weekend.
Now I’m onto the themes that my Alphas highlighted. There are a couple of places in the manuscript that need what I’ll call connection scenes. They’re those scenes where the characters process all the crazy that’s happened and draw closer as a group, making them ready for whatever comes next. It’s a breather moment for the reader. Because these scenes may add back in more words, I’m also looking at cutting another 5% to keep it from getting too long again.
So that’s where I’m at, cutting another 5% and weaving in breather or connection scenes.
As a side note, unlike the Adventures, I don’t have a set format for how my novels progress, I’m still figuring out the process that works for me. The Adventures are outline based, which makes predicting timelines a lot easier. The novels are freely written – or fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants written – which makes any timeline an educated guess. I would love to make the novels timeline based and stick to a clear schedule. So far, this only stunts my ability to write. All that being said, HMII has defied both outlining and my educated guesses on timelines.
I loathe saying this because I really dislike not following through on what I’ve said I’m going to do, but after the stress of getting Zap Dragon out on a faster timeline, I’m not going to kid myself into thinking I can still get HMII out by Christmas. I really, really wanted to keep that deadline. It’s incredibly hard for me to push it out farther and not feel like I’ve failed. But realistically, the professional edit will probably take three months, maybe longer, and I haven’t even run HMII by the Beta readers yet.
This is part of the learning curve for me still. If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I’m constantly learning more about this writing and publishing process. There’s never going to be a point where there’s not more to learn. And I love that, through this whole process, I’ve gotten to share it with friends and family and readers I’ve never even met. (That’s crazy to me, that I have readers who I get to share with but have never met in person!). Along the way, I’ve been incredibly blessed by the support and encouragement from everyone. Writing has been my dream since I could read and I can’t say how amazing it is to make that dream a reality.
Thank you for your understanding and encouragement. I promise HMII will be published, barring an act of God or something, I just don’t know 100% when.
P.S. Zap Dragon is available here on the website or on Amazon! Or, if you like supporting your local bookstore, they can order the book for you. You just have to ask them =) If you want to order off my site, just be aware I’m currently at GalaxyCon and won’t process the order until I return home next week.