I completed the first edition of the novel in mid-December. Today I made it available for purchase.
I began planning the novel during the summer of 2005, after participating in the National Writing Project summer institute at Rider University. However, not until 2012 did I devote myself to the task in earnest, but still part-time. I worked on it while teaching and shared parts with the class. They were very interested and critical at times. Other than grunt work it was difficult to write during the school year or during the decompression time of July. I did a lot of the editing while waiting on benches at DMV, my son’s Irish dance classes, etc. I’m sure everyone thought I was wacko.
Above is a photo of the hard copies. The drafts to the right are the early ones. Each tab is a new draft. The first draft is the thin one on the bottom of the pile that’s the notes from 2005. The final draft is at the bottom of the stack to the left. From 2012 to Jan 2015 there were ten total hard drafts of the book. Besides the mandatory initial working title Work in Progress, the evolving story had a few other titles: Harm’s Way, Buried with My People, and The Story of the Little Bird.
The first draft was hand written. For subsequent drafts, I would print out the draft, revise by hand, then type the changes then print again. That’s how I kept the word count in check. Beginning in 2015 I went to electronic editing. The log of that is here attached: Editing Record for E Version of Novel