I like to provide a bit of an update when I’m entering into the final six months (or less) of working on a book. That’s where I’m at with Where Butterflies Dream right now. My hope is to be done by the end of October, or November at the latest. That will give me time to get the edits done, get it out to my formatting guy, and get it back in time to release it for St. Patrick’s Day- that’s the dream at this point at least.
Parts one and two are done, part three only requires finishing one chapter. Part four has a few chapters to complete and it needs some re-structuring and sorting so that it fits better with the flow and timeline which precedes it. Part five is a bit of a mess currently, as is part six. Part seven is the final section of the book and is nearly done, barring one scene in the final chapter. The last lines are written though, and I hope when you read them you get a good shiver, or maybe even cry a little.
A lot of what I do at this point has to do with seeking balance within the story itself, weighing one story line against the next, interspersing chapters so that there aren’t too many emotionally heavy ones all clustered together, nor too many political/historical chapters weighting one section too heavily. Each of the main characters needs their story told, though some storylines get combined if two characters are both affected by events. And of course there are new characters, or rather ones you glimpsed very briefly in Shadows, who now take centre stage for a bit. Trying to find balance also means getting rid of scenes I really love, but which now just don’t fit the overall flow of the story.
Size is, of course, also a consideration. Being an indie author I have constraints on just how large my books can be, and In the Country of Shadows was right at the edge of the limit. The ms. for Shadows clocked in at 322,500 words, and Butterflies is already sitting at 238,500 and I’ve got two major storylines to wrap up, and a third I will have to remove and save for another book. Keeping it under the limit is probably the biggest challenge I’m facing as I head into the home stretch here.
So in summation, I still have a lot of work to do, but I believe it’s doable to actually still bring the book in on time. Health allowing that is- I’ve already lost six weeks to not feeling well. I do think the worst is behind me though- at least I really hope it is, and that I can spend the time I need to for concentrated bouts of work. So onward and upward- and hopeful for an October/November finish!