Yesterday I finished Draft 2.1 and printed out the entire manuscript of Princess of Shadows. I applied a trick I learned in one of my writing groups years ago to keep down the number of pages I have to lug around, in that I set everything to single space, 9 pt font, in two columns with landscape orientation. Even so, the printed copy came to 144 pages. It took my wheezing deskjet printer 25 minutes to complete the job, and it nearly killed an essentially new print cartridge.
But now I am ready for the hard copy edit. I even have a red pen. Stand back.
If you get a sense that I am now entering a happier phase of my creative process, you’d be right. At times while working on Shadows I have felt distinctly like Sisyphus; I’d get the damned thing to a certain point and then I’d have to go back and re-write something. Perhaps it reveals a residual prejudice toward dead tree books, but for me having a printed manuscript in my hands is to clear a major psychological hurdle. Now I know I’m going to finish this novel, assuming the Lord tarries and we don’t hit by a giant asteroid. I probably still have six to eight weeks of work ahead of me, particularly if my beta readers are slow off the mark, but it’s going to get done.