At the end of last July, I posted an excerpt from my up-and-coming blockbuster memoir. Then I blinked and somehow seven months passed by. I spent a lot of that time trying to get the new house presentable. I spent more time at work. And I spent way too much time with my hand in a bag of Chex Mix. But I’ve also managed to squeeze in some time on this book, picking up the pace in the last five weeks or so.
Good news. There’s progress. So much so, that last weekend I actually finished the final draft of the manuscript. To give the term “final draft” some context, here are the typical phases a book goes through before it ends up getting donated to Goodwill:
- Hey, I have an idea for a book!
- I jot down some notes.
- Let’s let those notes simmer for a year or three.
- Oh yeah, I had a book idea! Where are my notes?
- Time to write an outline.
- First fleshing out of the outline is Draft Zero.
- This is not good!
- Rewrite. Now I have a first draft.
- Rewrite again. Maybe a third or fourth time too.
- Whew! Wrote an ending, sanded off the rough spots, deleted inline notes, killed all the darlings.
- Final draft complete!
The good part of a final draft is the word final. The bad part is the word draft. This still isn’t ready for publication. Nope, nope. Next phases are:
- Have friends and strangers in your writing community critique it.
- Edit it.
- Read the whole thing.
- Edit it again.
If all goes well by this point, the book can be published.
If all goes well, that will be next month some time.
I’ll keep you posted.