This Is the Home Stretch

Last night, I finished transcribing the rest of the handwritten manuscript. I also started to layout the book for print, which will form the basis for the ebook edition that I will release first. This means, I have my first complete draft of the novel and will now begin the process of editing it as a whole.

As it stands, the novel encompasses 22 chapters. With front and back matter, the book is 113,844 words long. In my current paperback-style layout, that comes down to 360 pages.

My next step is to do one big editing pass through the complete book. After that, I should have a version I can give out to test readers. After some feedback, I’ll decide where to take it next. My current plan is still to publish at least the ebook version by the end of the year, with a print-on-demand run following later.

I’ve also designed a cover for the book:

Book Cover

Happy New Year!

Look, it’s already 2023! I think it’s about time I update you on my progress with the project. In the last few months, I’ve been very busy with my work as a freelance journalist and also in hosting and organising events and online trainings. Because of this, my work on the novel hasn’t progressed as much as I would have wished.

Since I last updated you on the matter, I’ve now transcribed 40 of the 108 handwritten manuscript pages that originated from my push to finish the novel last March. I am continuing my work on that, but I’ve been slowed down somewhat by switching away from Scrivener. I figured out that this software wasn’t fitting my workflow and am now back to editing the novel as a collection of plain Markdown files. I am currently in the process of testing alternative software, especially for final layout and publishing of the manuscript in print and ebook formats.

First Ebook Version of the Novel

As a result of testing the functionality of various programs, I’ve now created a first ebook version of the novel. I am not completely happy with it yet, but we are getting there.

What I am very happy with is the new print layout that came out of these experiments. This is also not 100% there yet, but it is very close to something publishable. These are all test runs, of course. I first need to transcribe the rest of the handwritten pages and do a lot of editing, before I can release anything.

Current Print Layout of the Novel

My goal for this year is to get print and ebook versions of the novel published. To that end, I will first concentrate on transcribing the manuscript, followed by a first rough editing pass of the whole novel. After that, I will update the version of the novel excerpts that are available here on the website before doing some more editing and getting some preliminary drafts out to select people to solicit feedback.

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll have the final novel ready for you to buy by the end of 2023. No promises though, as there is still a lot of work ahead of me before this goal is reached. But I am hopeful that it can be done!