I've finally finished the fourth draft of Exile. I've added the last three chapters a well as a file download for the entire manuscript of the Fourth Draft at the bottom of this page
Basically these chapters are about tying up all of the loose ends. Everything that hadn't been taken care of before is addressed here. The Epilogue goes through the lives of the surviving characters so there's no question that this is, indeed, the end. Again, there are a lot of things in these chapters that are much more significant to the plot of the larger story that this is only a small piece of.
I usually get a little annoyed when I write a story and someone asks me "well . . . then what happened?" NOTHING!!! NOTHING HAPPENED!!! Didn't you see those words at the end that said "The End"? THat means there is no more. THe story is over!!! So, to prevent that, i launched a preemptive strike, saying exactly what happened to every one of hte characters that survived, and a few that didn't. Sure, some of them might make great stories in their own right, but I'm never going to write them out. Why? because there's no need to. This story is over. There is no more. These characters have been through everything that they're going to go through and I meant it when I said "the end".
Well, as the deadline that my agent gave me draws closer, I have just under two months left to complete a final draft and mail it off to him. It's been a really hard winter at work and that has been slowing my progress horribly, but things are looking up a bit and I'm pretty sure that I can finish up by the last day of March. I want to take a break from Exile for a while, to recuperate after that really, really, hard fourth draft, but unfortunately I don't have much time for that. So I'll just take the weekend and get started on draft five on monday.
And so you can see the progression of how much this story has changed from draft to draft:
The first draft of Exile was 117,352 words.
The second draft ended at 247,112 words.
That is a difference of 129,760 words, over double the length of the first draft.
The third draft ended at an even larger 285,951 words.
Which is an increase of 38,839 words
The fourth draft ended at a huge 335,286 words.
The fourth draft was 49,335 words longer than the third, and 217,934 words longer than the first draft.
This story has REALLY changed and evolved through these four drafts and I have to say that I am pretty proud of how it's ended up. It's probably one of the better stories that I've written. It'll get even better in the next 2 or so drafts as I cut out all of hte unnecesary text. For now, though, you can consider Draft Four as close to being the finished story as it's going to get until I take a chainsaw to it and cut it down to size. Nothing more is going to be added to it. The only edits to make now are taking things away.