The more observant amongst you (and those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook) will have noticed that the first draft of Book 2 (working title: Parallels) is now complete.
At 84,000 words it's a shade smaller than The Long Second, but I don't think it's a problem as it fits nicely into the most common word-count that everyone seems to be asking for at the moment. In fact, The Long Second comes in slightly high and I'm half-expecting to have to trim that down at some point (I hope not, but it's possible).
Now starts step 2 - the process that some authors seem to love and some hate: the editing.
I don't find it a chore at all, and that's mainly because of the way the book is written in the first place. To reiterate (for those of you who didn't pay attention the first time) "I" am a "we" - two people, working on this project together, under one name.
What that means is that as each chapter is written, it is passed to the other for checking - for grammar, spelling, plot inconsistencies etc. It's an excellent form of near-immediate feedback and I believe it helps to keep the story quite tight (as, indeed, was the exact comment about The Long Second when it was read by my agent). It also means that, when it comes to this point, there are (hopefully) no major, shout-out, "Oh My God!" moments of something that just doesn't fit. And, as an additional bonus, it means this phase is completed really quite quickly.
Despite having only finished writing Book 2 yesterday, the first pass of this editing is already about 10% complete, and at this rate will be finished within a week.
That doesn't necessarily mean the book is perfect, of course. The next step will be to send it out to a small number of beta-readers. Of these, one is very thorough and will pick up on any errors that have been missed so far, and one will provide valuable feedback on the overall quality of the story (and whether, or not, it's as good as/better/worse than The Long Second).
Once their feedback has been received and any errors corrected and suggestions acted upon, it will probably sit, untouched, for another week or so. As this nicely coincides with Christmas, that should mean a nice break in the run-up, and allows me to (basically) forget the story, so when I come to it again, it should feel reasonably fresh.
Phase 3, essentially the final read through will then take place and any further errors corrected.
Then, and only then, will it go to Lora for her to read. Target for that: first week of January.