Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Point of No Return

Update from the front: My novel JIHADI -- on which I have been working for about six years -- is now about 30,000 words shy of its 100,000-word target. 22 chapters down. Nine to go. As of today, I am on schedule to complete the working draft December 10 of this year.

My goal is to use this year's #NaNoWriMo to create the 60,000 or so draft words needed to fill the 30,000-word gap (assuming a two-to-one crap-passage-to-viable-passage ratio), then leave the thing alone for a month or so, then give it one good pass before circulating it among literary agents in January.

Translation: This is where it gets real. This is the point of no return. It is time to wrap this thing.

I feel comfortable saying that now, if only because I now have a clear, confident answer to that question, "So what's your novel about?" (It's about an American citizen who is accused of terrorism.) I used to just sputter and drool a lot whenever people asked that.

The wonderful news is that the book does, in fact, feel like a novel, and (though I say it who perhaps shouldn't) a good one. Here's a link to the current Chapter One. Here's encouraging feedback from past beta readers. (The three who have gone above and beyond the call are +L. T. Dalin , +Richard Gibney , and +Adella Wright.) And then there's the video above.

Feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I post more frequent updates on the novel's progress. And please do connect with me via Twitter or via email if you are interested in reading the manuscript in PDF form and providing a critique.

The moral of the story: I really am wrapping the thing up, Godwilling.  Stay tuned.