I finally finished the final edit of a novel called Loose Ends. The basic book was finished about a year ago but it lacked proofreading, editing and editing for style. It is fiction and something of a cross between history, action and adventure and philosophy. The basic design goal was to make the narrative entertaining so that it could be read on one of the several levels.
At ninety two thousand one hundred and twenty five words it’s a decent length, falling somewhere between the 60 and 100 thousand words often described as the standard for a modern novel. A number of people saw the manuscript in its rough, early form, but only two have seen the second to the last draft. The final edit for style is now finished.
Along the way a number of continuity errors have been fixed. One or two plot holes have been fixed. Defects that were not evident in the first two edits came up at me glaringly this last time around. They were fixed and the result I think is that this final draft is markedly superior to the crude original first product. The first draft was a plot line with enough writing to demonstrate the dramatic possibilities of the story. Now it is real story which reads tolerably well.
Most of those who’ve commented on the draft say it moves quickly. That’s great because it was the primary design goal. Some have said they were moved, which was the author’s goal; others said they were frightened by the brutality of the bad guys. At least one person found certain parts funny. The scenery is diverse: tropical islands and high mountains. It includes at least one landscape which I don’t believe has ever been described in English novel form before, unless it were by Dickens. If Loose Ends achieves nothing more than memorializing that time and place, then it will have been worthwhile.
It is probably possible to refine it further but there comes a time when a manuscript wants to say goodbye and test its wings whatever befall. Loose Ends is at that point. I’ll look around for publishing options in the next few weeks but I won’t give it too long.