After seven months of hard work I finished the manuscript for my horror novel The Desolate this past Saturday.
It’s shorter than I expected, weighing in around 65k words (nearly 20k words shorter than Into the Badlands). I suppose some stories take more or less time to tell. It’s still a decent size for a novel.
The writing is some of the best I’ve done, I think. The prose is very tight and it reads very smoothly. Some chapters had as many as eight revisions before I was comfortable. It was tedious reading and revising the same thing over and over again, but it resulted in a much better story.
I stripped out a lot of fluff in all those revisions; superfluous repetition that caused the story to feel clunky. Now the trick for the next book will be not writing the fluff in the first place. I think that’ll make subsequent manuscripts go more quickly.
I also played more with subtlety in this book rather than being so explicit with the thoughts and ideas I was trying to get across.
The story seems pretty original to me. I hope others agree. It’s dark, but it’s a horror novel, after all. I think the ending is fitting too. The beta readers all seemed to be happy with it.
So now the manuscript is in the editor’s hands. She’ll hopefully be finished with it by early July, after which I’ll make her changes and ship it to my proofreader. Another read through and I’ll upload it to Amazon on August 1, 2012. I can’t wait to get it out there. I’m proud of the effort and of the finished product. Hopefully readers will enjoy it too.