I’ve just completed my second draft. By including the first bit of a subplot that will get a lot more airtime in volume 2, I’ve managed to just edge over 50,000 words. Hey, I write short. No epic fantasy phonebooks here.
I’m putting the invitation out now for beta readers. My first lot of betas have been very quiet, and I’m not sure why. The only one who’s got back to me didn’t like the first draft, but he had some constructive suggestions about why he didn’t like it, which I’ve tried to follow in Draft 2.
The clerks’ stories are now expanded and contain more showing and less telling, more dialog and description and less narrative. I think that’s a definite improvement, and one I can take into Vol 2.
I’ve started the second book (before I went back and revised the first one thanks to my friend’s feedback), and I have a list of things that can go wrong for the characters. The trick will be spacing them out, or as Jim Butcher puts it, setting up all the dominoes and then knocking them over. My besetting sin as a writer is to solve my characters’ problems for them instead of letting them struggle and triumph over their challenges.
More and more characters keep turning up. After 22 pages I have seven or eight new ones who are likely to recur, plus three minor ones who may or may not get speaking roles. In addition to the 10 major characters and their hangers-on, introduced in the first book. That may be a little out of hand.
It is very much an ensemble cast, though, even if Berry is the viewpoint character most of the time.
I know I don’t have many subscribers here yet, but I’ll say this anyway: Comment if you want to be a beta reader. But only if you’re going to read it and get back to me quickly!