One of the greatest feelings I’ve come to know is completing a manuscript. When you consider the population of the world as a whole, and the number of people who’ve sat down (or stood up) to write a book you realize that you’ve accomplished something that few people get to understand. There is a profound sense of accomplishment that goes along with transferring something from your imagination onto paper or computer. There are greater feelings than this in the literary world, but completing a manuscript means that you’ve reaching the summit and now you have to start on getting back down.
That’s how I look at the editing process. It’s one thing to reach the top of the mountain, but you still have to get back down again.
The first draft of The Delirium is complete! The zombie tale which takes place during The Great War (World War I) was a project I started with Jeremy Brinkett during the last NaNoWriMo session and I’ve finally been able to put it down temporarily. The first inception of it comes in at just under 38,000 words – 12,000 short of being considered a novel-length tale. The rest of NaNoWriMo involved several short stories, Bright Lights and Cold Steel, a Tuesday’s Gone novellette entitled The American Big-Top, as well as a couple of short sections of what will become Last of the White Knights, the Twenty-Five at the Lip sequel.
The Delirium is the story of Reginald Barnes, a soldier in the British Expeditionary Force stationed in France during World War I. Barnes and a group of men are selected to go on a mission to retrieve sensitive information from a communications post behind German lines. In the process they discover a horrifying new weapon being deployed by the German army: a way to raise the dead and make them hunger for the taste of human flesh.
We’ve handed it off to a few people to look at from a preliminary standpoint. Normally this isn’t done until a full Beta version is ready, but as it is written from a British perspective we had to make sure we were on the right track, particularly since the material isn’t just British, but 100-year-old British at that! Sometimes not being a loyal subject to The Crown has its drawbacks. So we’ve enlisted the help of my friend Liz, a real-live British person and zombie writer, to look at it.
It’s probably going to marinate on the desktop for a few weeks so we can get a new perspective on it after she’s done pointing out all the ways we colonials have bastardized a beautiful language thanks to reality TV and Pabst Blue Ribbon.