Yep, I finished Bang Up last night. Some authors feel a little sad when it’s time to say goodbye to a book, sort of a postpartum depression. I am not that type of author. I assure you, when I finish a novel, I am 100% “Woo-hoo!!!”
Not that it’s time to say goodbye to Bang Up. I’ve still got work to do. But, honestly, not a TON of work. There’s a school of thought that you should plow through your first draft and never look back–focus on getting the book done. You can fix it later. (See: James A. Moore, my collaborator on The Haunted Forest Tour.) Truthfully, when I talk about writing to the new generation of authors, that’s the advice I give. You can get so caught up in editing yourself that you don’t make any forward progress.
But it’s not my process. I revise constantly as I go. So the file “Bang Up.docx” on my laptop isn’t significantly different from Bang Up, the novel that will be on your Kindle soon.
I do keep a separate file “Bang Up Notes.docx” for things that, for whatever reason, I don’t want to address until the book is finished. Sometimes it’s a full page. Usually it’s less. Typically it’s not “This needs to be fixed” but rather “Keep an eye out for this on the final pass.”
For example, one note is to focus on “who knew what and when.” The finale involves individual characters learning things that everybody else knew many chapters ago, and I need to make sure all of that is consistent. I’m pretty sure it is, but that’s something for me to keep in mind when I go through the entire book, beginning to end.
Bang Up is a comedy. And I tend to be a greedy joke hoarder until I type “The End.” Once the book is done, I can accept that the book can stand to lose a few jokes and still be sufficiently funny. Crappy jokes have, in theory, already been cut. The ones I’ll lose on the next pass are the jokes that I find delightfully amusing but that I know deep in my heart need to go.
Then it’s off to my team of test readers.
On Sunday, if any of it seems interesting, I’ll post non-spoilery updates on the tweaks I’m making as I do my “final” (meaning, not final) pass on the book.
Now that this book is nearing the end of the creative process, it’s time to begin the process on the next one. Hint: zombie animals. Watch for Part II of my October 6th update probably before you realized there was a Part I.