An Update on the Book

Yesterday I finished the third draft of my book, which basically involved me going through the whole thing line by line trying to choose the correct word and making sure each sentence read well. I did this partly by reading each line out loud as if I were standing on a stage addressing an audience. The clunky words and bad metaphors tend to jump out at you when you do that.

So it is now 75,400 words across 16 chapters. It’s a little on the light side – I was aiming for 80,000 words – but as a (kind of) romance fiction by a new author this ought not to do me any harm. Better than asking tentative readers to wade through 120k words at any rate. The next step is to read it through from start to finish, looking for obvious improvements, grammatical and spelling errors, inconsistencies, and looking at the overall pace and flow. Then I’ll be writing to one or two editors asking them for quotes.

I have no idea what to expect from the editing process, but I guess I’ll find out. In the meantime, I need to write two synopses (a long and a short), come up with a title (I may even run a poll on here once I’ve narrowed the options), get someone to design a cover, and start the ball rolling on the marketing. I’ve already started playing with the compilation software to turn it into an e-book, but I feel I have more to learn on that yet.

Anyway, completing this third draft feels like a big achievement. Hopefully that’s the hardest part done, but we’ll see.

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15 thoughts on “An Update on the Book

  1. Pleased you are making progress, but as I have said before don’t squeeze the life out of it. Writing is an individualistic exercise and your work has to reflect you as an individual. Yes, reading aloud is a great way to get an understanding of the flow and the awkward bits that impede.

    It does help to have someone else read your work for that reason; they tend to be on your side (hopefully) but somewhat detached from your thinking processes. I know when my wife reads anything I write she has a field day pointing out repetitive words, over-used phrases and reminds me that one thing I do is overuse the word ‘thing’ (see what I did there?).

    Good luck with it. I am sure I will be knocking on Amazon’s door to buy my copy as soon as you reach the end stage. But hey, who am I kidding? It’s never actually done in one sense, but you do get to a sort of finished point eventually.

  2. Thanks, Watcher.

    Pleased you are making progress, but as I have said before don’t squeeze the life out of it. Writing is an individualistic exercise and your work has to reflect you as an individual.

    Yeah, I’m hoping I’ve got the balance write. I’m confident there is enough of “me” in there.

    It does help to have someone else read your work for that reason;

    Fortunately I have that and her input has been invaluable.

  3. “Yeah, I’m hoping I’ve got the balance write”

    All of a sudden, I am terribly worried…..

  4. “Love is like a non-recyclable plastic bag dancing in the wind”

    My title proposal for the win.

  5. Dr Johnson said: “Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.”

    Not sure that’s good advice, but perhaps worth thinking about. All the best with the book, you Righter.

  6. Best of luck with the book and I look forward to reading the final press copy.

    I think you might want to consider whether you brand it a “romance” novel, though. I know some people who work in the romance novel industry and it’s akin to those “Mack Bolan – Executioner” novels: formulaic, shallow, pandering to its audience’s vanities, and ludicrously lucrative because of all that.

    What you’ve got defies categorization at the moment, and that’s going to make it hard to market. I’m not sure how much that actually matters in self-publishing, though; certainly there are tons of alt-right people who make a comfortable living self-publishing intellectually challenging books for their base, so it can’t be that hard.

  7. Dr Johnson said: “Read your own compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out.”

    That’s probably good advice, and I can see why he’d say it. It is very tempting to put in scenes or lines that you find oh so hilarious or witty, but others will roll their eyes at. Of course we all do it, and my ego is too big to make me cut out all the bits that I think are good. But reading it out loud and imagining an entire conference of people is suddenly hearing it will highlight the cringeworthy parts. Or put another way, if suddenly a scene or passage fell into the hands of your mates or colleagues, would you be embarrassed? If so, change it.

  8. Thanks Ed P,

    Have you considered “Legiron” as an online publisher?

    I have, and with all respect due to Legiron, I’d rather do it myself. I reckon I have the time and skill to publish and market it myself (although I expect to learn a lot along the way) and doing it myself gives me full control and the lion’s share of the five quid profits it’ll being in (if I’m lucky). This is in no way dismissive of what Legiron does and is offering, I’d just rather do it myself.

  9. I think you might want to consider whether you brand it a “romance” novel, though.

    Indeed, and I won’t.

    What you’ve got defies categorization at the moment, and that’s going to make it hard to market.

    Yeah, exactly. My marketing strategy will be similar to that of the hot dog salesman outside the baseball stadium: go to where the customers are. I need to identify the major themes of the book and find where people are *already* talking about these, and showing an interest. Then I need to engage with them and waft passages of the book under their noses. In short, I’ll need to go to the customers, they won’t come to me.

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