I hope everyone had excellent holidays of whatever type they choose to celebrate! 2012 was a great year and I'm looking forward even more to 2013. I'm making good progress towards finishing my first draft of City of the Lords later this month, and that puts me still on track to have a finished product ready by spring.
I'm close enough to the end that I know pretty firmly what's going to happen from here on out. The book will probably end up between 120,000 to 130,000 words (compared to Lord of the City at about 96,000). It's exciting to be this close, though I'm not looking forward to the editorial slog afterwards where I get to find out just how many mistakes I made in the first draft!
Here's my plan for that process, based on what worked (and what didn't work) for Lord of the City:
1. Read through each section on the computer and make corrections as I go. Assuming there's no major rewrites, I'd like to do each part in one sitting.
2. Run an automated spell check over the entire document, which takes a lot of manual intervention (one of the problems with any fantasy novel, I imagine).
3. Print the entire book out on paper and read through it aloud. This is a piece of advice I picked up a while ago and it definitely makes you spot problems with the writing that you wouldn't otherwise notice. Corrections are made on paper and then entered back into the software version.
4. Ask friends and family (F&F) to review this near-final draft.
5. Make one final quick skim and possible corrections or minor rewrites based on feedback from F&F.
6. Format the book three times - once for CreateSpace (hard copies), once for Kindle, once for the more general ePub format. At this point, the ebooks are ready for publishing. I need a cover by this point!
7. Order a proof from CreateSpace and check it out. Last time it took me 3 proofs to get the cover correct, though hopefully I won't need so many iterations with what I learned from the first book.
So there's a lot of work left after the first draft is done, but it's very different from the initial writing. I'm ready to start on these steps, just need to finish those last few chapters!