Well, that seems to be the first draft of Screaming Spires (The Cavaliers Book Two)conclusively finished. What a feeling!
The first draft of Oxford Blood took me about four months to write, in those long days between university and full time work, when writing was my only commitment. This book on the other hand, written in precious, snatched moments after work, has taken about fifteen months to get to the same stage. At some points, when work has been particularly stressful and exhausting and the last thing I wanted to do when I arrived home at 8pm was turn on my computer, I thought I’d never finish. I’ve loved writing it, but it’s such a relief to have it done.
Of course, that’s not the end of the process. When I say it took four months to write Oxford Blood, that was over the course of summer 2010. It’s only now, two years later, that I feel I’ve got a book that’s entirely ready for publication. When I think of the version I sent to agents in spring 2011, I cringe slightly.
Between then and now have been months of everything from polishing scenes to completely changing parts of the plot, from losing excess words to laborious grammar checking. As a result, I’m not quite so filled with exhilaration tonight as I was the night I finished OB, because I know all that’s ahead of me.
That said, the process of editing OB, and the very detailed feedback I’ve received from various sources, has taught me a lot about writing a novel. I’m confident that I can get Screaming Spires up to a publishable standard in a couple of months, and am aiming to release it in early 2013. One of the biggest round of changes to OB came when I sent it to an agent and she came back with a very detailed list of suggestions, which helped to make the book what it is today (even if some of them were horribly painful at the time). As I’m planning to go straight for the self-publishing route this time, I won’t have that input. I just hope I can be as ruthless with this book as she was with that one.
Looking ahead (because I have to take my mind off the coming editing somehow), I’ve produced a detailed plot outline of the third and final book in the series, and plan to start writing that one very soon, at the same time as editing two. There are some scenes I just can’t wait to get my teeth into.