Okay, let’s talk about where things are and where things are hopefully going, shall we?
The first draft (which is really like the third or fourth draft; I do a lot of editing while I’m writing) of is done and in the hands of the alpha readers (who really should come up with a cool name for themselves). In its current form the book is just over 101k words; some 380 MS pages in length. So they will read and get out the red pens and go to town on all the things I missed the first four or five times. And yes, I missed stuff. Its almost impossible not to. I told my students the same thing when I assigned them term papers. Once you’ve written something you tend to gloss over things when you re-read; after all, you already know what it says. After the alpha readers are done looking at the really crappy version of the book and I’ve fixed things I’ll possibly ask for volunteers for beta readers. They’ll get a somewhat less crappy version of the book and find all the things that I and the alphas missed. And so it goes.
So, what do I do while waiting for critiques to come back? Well, I’ve been painting, but I’m also working on the next Machiavel, tentatively titled Something Wicked. I like to write after all. I’m also eventually going to start going through The Machiavel again. There is at least one troll joke I want to add in and I’m sure I’ll catch even more things that don’t make sense. At nearly 400 pages, continuity errors happen.
What does this mean? It means, amongst other things, that by the time The Machiavel (which may not be its final title) is sent out to agents it will probably have undergone 10-20 drafts. If (when) accepted by an agent it may undergo more and if (when) bought by an editor it will definitely undergo more. How many? I have no idea, I haven’t gotten that far yet. I’ll let you know when I do.