I have gone about writing my novel in a piecemeal fashion. It has been the absolute worst trial-and-error-in-your-free-time approach that I would not recommend to anyone; counterproductive and at times like pouring lye on a bare patch of skin. The opposite of how to effectively compose a work of 70,000+ words. That being said, at the end of three years of work it looks like I might have produced something coherent. My readers will be the final arbiters.
For the longest time I dreaded that the book would amount to nothing more than a jumbled pile of half-baked plotlines. After some judicious editing on a draft completed in November, the book resembles its original form only superficially -like a colicky infant eschewing its clangor and performing Toscanini for royalty.
I recently embarked on the last round of edits -filling out character details, adding dialogue for clarification, creating two ancillary scenes, and rearranging the final sequence. If all goes as planned (and it never does), I'll complete work by the end of the month.
It struck me this morning that I've had a lot of help from readers. I want to take the opportunity to give a shout out to these good people who have offered invaluable encouragement and feedback: my monthly writing group (Danny, Will, Brian and Caleb), Jonathan Shaw, Doug&Anna Dalrymple, Megan Dodgson, Jen Phoenix, Anne Overstreet, Katy Shaw, Beth Haidle, Andy Bates, and Heather Guerrero, who read in its entirety an early draft and offered tremendous insight; I should also like to thank Danny Walter for the use of his PC, upon which a lot of early composition was done. Truly, I could not have carried on without the input of these wonderful people!
Now the manuscript is nearing readiness to be sent to agents and publishing houses, and I plan to be more regular in my updates... about the current novel and news about the next one. Here's hoping I've learned how to do it a little better the second time around.