At present, I still have about two-and-a-half chapters to go. I've broken my 20,000 word minimum, and I'm thinking the final word count of the first draft will come in just shy of 30,000 words. At the current rate, the rough draft will be done around mid-July, and the next month will be spent in polish passes. Then it is off to my beta reader(s) and the editor for a line edit.
I've had a few setbacks in getting things done. The first was a bad tooth, a failed root canal, and finally a tooth extraction. This resulted in lots of stress, lots of delays, and some creative lulls. However, as I near the end, the ideas are flowing again. I've revised the story a couple of times now, and am pretty pleased by where I'm going.
After that, it's the long, potentially painful process of creating a cover, formatting the book, and figuring out how I'm going to distribute it. My plan is to create a PDF file that can be distributed via an e-mail attachment. If you want a physical copy, it'll be something you need to buy. I'm new to this and while I've done some research on producing all of this stuff, thinking you know how to do something and actually doing it are two very different things.
So, once I complete the story, and refine it, here are the next steps:
Distribution of the manuscript to my beta readers.
Sending the manuscript to the editor for a Line Edit.
Re-read of the manuscript.
Send manuscript out to the editor for a proofread.
Contract an artist for the cover.
Figure out how to distribute the manuscript.
Format the manuscript for the free distributed version.
Set up the website for the e-mail list.
I probably missed a step or two, but as you can see, there are a lot of non-writing tasks on there. And I still haven't figured out a good title.
I'm thinking of spinning up my Locals account around the same time. I'm seriously considering maybe doing a reading of the novella and putting it behind a paywall. Likewise, there are a few chapters from the original attempt that I'm seriously considering putting out there on Locals as well, as "extended" chapters. These will be narrated videos, of course.
Lots of ideas. Lots of work. All for a "free" book. 😁