This week I have finished the first draft of the first book in a new series. Completing a draft is always a mix of emotions. I usually let the draft sit for a while before I ever look at it. If you have ever written a book, you know this time period can be a strange time. This voice in my head won't leave me alone.
"Read it right away!"
"Is it any good? Are you any good?"
"You really need to start editing!"
"Open the file and start rewriting it!"
But I fight off these thoughts because I know leaving the draft alone for a while is crucial for the first edit. Going off and working on something else gives you time to distance yourself from the work. It's amazing what the time does for you!
When you open up the file for the first time after you finished, it is like you are editing someone else's work. You can be harsh on the edits (I usually am on this first pass--I cut a lot!) and look at the work like a reader instead of a writer. That's an important distinction.
I am not sure if I have ever written about this, but the first Star Runners book was much longer in the first draft. If memory serves, the final book ended up around 100,000 words. The first draft was more than 120,000. That was a lot of cutting! But it was scenes and information that should have been removed. I am happy with the final product and I hope most of the readers had a nice escape reading it.
So into the hard drive this first draft goes and it won't be opened for quite some time.
Why I am writing about this?
Well, finishing this first draft means I am returning to the Star Runners universe after a brief hiatus. I think it is crucial to give the characters a break in my mind before launching into another adventure. Austin Stone and company went through quite an ordeal in the last book (Mission Wraith). It may sound funny, but it was emotional for me as well. I am thrilled with how the story turned out and I am looking forward to continuing Austin's journey with Star Runners 4 as well as answering some of the questions you've had about the universe in general. I would never give away too much at this point, but the Star Runners universe is about to open up in a huge way.
I am considering keeping you well informed of the writing process with Star Runners 4. If you are interested, I plan on providing progress updates on the writing via this blog and the newsletter. The worst thing I could do to anyone interested in Star Runners is to keep you wondering when the next book is coming out. This way I can allow people to keep tabs on me (if they choose to do so).
For now, I hope everyone is enjoying the hint of spring in the air. As always, thank you for all of your emails of support and questions regarding the Star Runners universe. It means so much to me.