Another milestone! off to beta readers

Couple in love
Dragon Shadows, debuts May 2018

Dragon Shadows is off to the Beta Readers! Also, to my editor. Yipeee! I’m far ahead of my deadlines so I want to keep it that way, as my goal is to publish the books very close, back to back so readers won’t have to wait too long for a sequel.

I’ve already started working on the sequel, Dragon Secrets (tentative title), and hope to have that in final rough draft by the end of the year. There is a more tentative, standalone romance-adventure book planned in the Dragons of Magick world that deals with the Duke’s adventures but more on that later.

After finishing Dragon Shadows, I’ve realized that I write in a certain sequence:

Plotting – This is pre planning session on laying out the plot for the story. I found Rachel Aaron’s book 2K to 10K: Writing faster, Writing better… to be helpful for this. I am essential a pantser writer who realizes she needs more structure so I’m still working on this area of my writing.

  • 3 bullet targets for each chapter
  • Determining POV (point of view) of each chapter
  • Making a list of “lose ends” that needs to be tied up
  • Research
  • Book Cover needs to be planned for.

Bone Draft – the rough skeleton of the story needs at least 1,500 words per chapter from start to finish. This process takes about a month and usually does take a lot of time so the foundation is secure.

  • Lots of mistakes and mis-starts here while I pound out the plot.
  • It’s easy to get trapped at this stage with re-writing the same areas of your book in an effort to “perfect”  the early chapters and instead of pushing forward.
  • My partner and I have many discussions at this point about plot and what points I want to hit.
  • A lot of character development happens at this stage. Scenes pop into my head.

Flesh Draft – the filling in to increase word count per chapter (2,500 – 3,500), to identify missing scenes that need to be written or scenes that would make the story more enjoyable. Also, identifying chapters that drag and need to be re-written. This process can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month.

  • This is where it’s easier to see where the entire plot needs help. What chapters don’t work or if there is inconsistencies in the characters.
  • I ask for more creative input from my reading partner on what works, what doesn’t. We bounce between a Flesh and a Skin draft while things get hammered out more.

Skin Draft – the start of more intensive editing and self trimming of story. Word count per chapter is around 2,500-4,000 depending on what the plot calls for as I noticed high action chapters usually have shorter word counts.

  • A lot of time is spent reading through the story more slowly, actual word count doesn’t increase that much.
  • Editing by myself and reading partner begins.
  • Scenes may be added, others deleted.

Aloud Proofing – we read aloud each chapter, checking for continuity and errors. This takes about four days.

Beta Readers – off to the Beta Readers for read through. I’m thinking this will take 2-4 weeks though I would like this to be less then 2 weeks myself.

Editor & Proofreading – off to the editor. A month at least.

Final Draft – changes, additions, corrections after input. I am thinking a week, no more then two.

Publish – prepare formats, etc.. for publishing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s