Okay so back to blogging about the writing journey after a couple of random Christmas related posts!…
This time last year I was hurtling towards finishing the first draft of Prophecy of Innocence. I’d been working on it for 14 months, in between life – you know how that tends to get in the way. But as 2012 came to a close I was determined I would complete the entire story by January 1st. And I did. (If January 1st is January 3rd, but what’s two days between friends?)
Yes! I’d finished. So now what?
Well someone would have to proof read it obviously. It was perfect (!!!) except, I was sure, for typos and errors in punctuation and spelling which I’d not be able to spot myself.
Ha ha ha ha ha! How I laugh (and cry) at my stupidity and naivety. I thought I’d have it published by December 2013. Oh how glad I am that I’m generally the sort of person who is very hard on herself.
You see 2013 has seen nothing, and yet every thing, happen.
Firstly, the book is not published as I had envisaged. People keep asking when it will be, but they don’t understand how complicated this whole business is. How can they? I didn’t. Until I began to look at how to publish. And it was only at that point when I started the revision process.
Despite some minor revisions before I was brave enough to allow another human being to see it, I still cringe when I think of the poor people who had the ‘pleasure’ of reading that first rough draft. My mum, who pointed out my grammar was all over the place and rewrote whole passages for me! Turns out it wasn’t my grammar which was the actual problem. The story didn’t read well simply because I hadn’t learned to show a story instead of tell it. (This I had learned from extensive research on various blogs.) I also pity the children from the school I teach in who read it and I should apologise to them as they should only be subjected to high quality texts, not the drivel which was my first draft!
So what have I been doing in 2013? How have things moved on?
Well I am now only days away from completing the final revision of Book 1. (There will be three books in total for the story, there have probably been ten times that many revisions on Book 1!) I would actually be happy now for a publishing house to read it. I know it is a whole lot better than it was. If I were to compare this final draft with the first, I’m not even sure how many of the original sentences would be exactly as they were!
Of course this year I also started this blog and set up a Facebook page which has been a good way of keeping track of the journey and encouraging me to keep on at it, even when there have been times I felt like giving up.
I also joined Twitter this year and this has led me to finding a whole group of other writers whose support, advice and general camaraderie has been inspirational and kept me going on this journey. Some of the wonderful people I am in contact with have been kind enough to read some of what I’ve written and given feedback. Twitter has led me to blogs where I have discovered how to self publish and indeed have learned how to write. This time last year I didn’t know how to write! I had no idea how to edit. This year I have moved on a lot.
Of course amid the revision of book 1, I did find some time to write the first 6 chapters of book 2. I say write, I mean draft because I know now from experience I will revise it numerous times. Writing is like chiseling a piece of granite. Ask anyone who writes anything. It’s hard and there’s always a little part you can chip at a bit more to smooth out and improve. I have also started to set up another blog site which will be aimed more at promoting the book for children when the time comes. Also this year I delved into the world of formatting for self publishing and bought a package. This will be more difficult I feel than the actual writing or rewriting.
As regular visitors to the blog may know, I’ve also entered the first chapter into a writing competition for the opening 2000 words of a children’s novel. The closing date for this is December 31st. I don’t know if I will receive feedback on my entry – I hope to, even if I should not win.
Finally a few weeks ago I was approached by a small publisher interested in my work. For the moment I have turned down sending in a query letter, for the reasons I gave on one of my previous posts on self publishing. However it was exciting and flattering to be asked, the editor only having read a page on my blog. Who knows I might still pursue the traditional route, but if I do I would like to have Book 2 at least drafted in full.
So what’s the plan of action as 2014 dawns?
1) First I’ll see what happens as a result of the competition. Winning would mean I could afford to get a professional edit done on Book 1 which is what I really would like.
2) I would then like to ask some beta readers to read the final draft and then I’ll edit to meet any given suggestions.
3) Have the final edit professionally proofread. Again this will cost so being dependent on funds may increase time frame.
4) Format the finished document for publication. (aaaaaaarrrrrghh!)
5) Have my brother complete the cover art for the book. (Employ use of whip for this stage!)
6) Promote through local schools to begin with as well as through this blog, Twitter and the children’s blog I have started on.
7) Publish and continue promoting. (The thing I know least about.)
As we all know though, plans are just that and only offer a general guide. Things change and evolve, much like the book itself. However I really do hope 2014 is the year I finally get this out there. It will be 3 years in the making and I’m guessing letting go of it may be the hardest thing I’ve had to do yet on the project.
Wishing you all the very best for whatever your dreams and goals are for the coming year.
Thanks for reading, and remember you can always ‘Sneak a Peek’ and leave any comments you may have on the start of chapter 1 here right on this site. I welcome any suggestions for improvement at all times. 🙂