Lionhearted, Second Draft: COMPLETE!

(*excitedly bangs a spoon on the bottom of a pot*) Guys, guess what? I finished the second draft of Lionhearted!!!

On May 14 I wrote, and I quote: “I hope to be finished by the end of summer. Ambitious much? Maybe. Lionhearted has thirty chapters and I’ve already edited eighteen of them in four months, so it’s possible. At least I’ve got a goal.” Well, somehow–through great perseverance and God’s grace (because otherwise I would’ve driven myself insane), I managed to knock out those last twelve chapters in a single month. I even reached the final page on June 15, my siblings’ last day of school–which, for me, always means an end to our normal morning structure.

Finishing Lionhearted on that particular day, therefore was not only a triumph but a great convenience, haha.


150,486 words
5,791 paragraphs
298 pages


130,834 words
5,166 paragraphs
267 pages

I cut out almost 20,000 words, about 600 paragraphs, and 30 pages. It’s still a long book…but hey, now it’s shorter than four out of seven of the Harry Potter books and shorter than all of the Lord of the Rings books. Also, it’s a typical length for its genre (“young adult science-fiction thriller”)–so I couldn’t be more pleased in that regard.

The second draft definitely surprised me in some respects. For example, I ended up keeping a character who I thought I might cut out–but she convinced me that she provided an emotional ballast for another character and that I could give her a small but very important part to play in the climax, so I kept her. I also tweaked certain relationships, softened one character (a bit), and made the bad guy even more menacing and unpredictable. The narrative is much tighter, and hopefully my beta readers won’t be overwhelmed by too many adverbs–or smiles. My characters do a lot of smiling–but is that really a bad thing?

And, of course, when I finally threw up my hands and cried “IT’S DONE”–I got to open my present!

I even did a photoshoot.

“Aaaaaaah it’s been opened!”
“You’re me and I’m you…or something. And we’re both Scottish. Makes total sense.”
Showin’ off that red lining like “Clara I’m not your boyfriend–but don’t I look smashing in this coat–please say you think I’m smashing–I just want to impress you, sweetie!”–and all that Series 8 nonsense. (*rolls eyes affectionately*)

I’m a strange one, I know. But I have fun.

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