Children of Tomorrow Done and off to the Editor

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Earlier today, I sent in the completed manuscript for Children of Tomorrow, the final chapter in the This Alien Earth trilogy, created by Paul Antony Jones.

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I scheduled myself to start on June 1 knowing there needed to be time to revise, time for a beta reader, final drafting, and then deliver by August 15.

Working with the approved outline, which was expanded into a chapter by chapter road map, I started on June 1 and things flowed. I am normally good for a good three or four-hour burst of drafting each day, and my drafts come quickly so I have historically averaged between 3000-4000 words a day.

Having not written long-form fiction in a while, I was curious to see how this was going to. The challenges here were matching existing voices and weaving in new characters and settings that fit in the world Paul created. It was also being written in the first person, not something I do often.

To my surprise, things flowed and felt smooth. And the writing just happened so the entire manuscript was completed in 21 days. There was one two-day break and then a week off for a planned vacation (we were in a cabin in the woods so stayed safely removed from humanity). Still, this was far faster than I anticipated and looking back, I was averaging 3679 words a day. So, it seems, I picked up where I left off.

I edited the draft over four or five days, filling in gaps, revising clunky sections, and the like. That swelled the 77,266 words to a final draft of 80,616 words, well within the contracted 75,000-90,000 word count.

Once that was done, the manuscript went off to a beta reader who, over the course of several weeks, sent me questions and typo corrections. That final set of comments arrived this morning and once they were added, I fired the completed file off to the editors at Aethon Books.

Now I wait. I know they liked how I planned to address the lingering cliffhangers and questions but they worked directly with Paul and know his style better than me. Apparently, Paul’s widow will get a gander at this, so I hope she gives it a thumbs up (I haven’t been this nervous about feedback since Guillermo del Toro reviewed my Hellboy II manuscript; he changed nothing).

Having beaten the August 15 deadline, means we have an extra two weeks to ensure this is the best possible novel while still making the Oct. 13 on-sale date. No, I have no idea how they’re going to turn a manuscript into a polished paperback in so short a time, but they are pros and I trust them.

Of course, the most important arbiter is the reader so their feedback come the fall will be really interesting to see.

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