If you’ve read much of my blog to this point you surely realize that I’m an aspiring writer. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but eventually life got in the way and I pushed that goal aside for a more practical life. When I heard about indie publishing, I realized that getting my stories into the hands of people who appreciate them didn’t have to be a long series of attempts to get past various gatekeepers. I could publish the stories I want and make them directly available to the people who are interested.
I think I spent maybe a week reading everything I could about indie publishing. And then I got to work on an idea that I had a few years ago and fleshed it into what will be a trilogy when it’s done. The first novel felt so right. The outline came to me in just a few days instead of the weeks I allocated myself and the first draft was done in two weeks. I was ecstatic. Surely, I’m meant to be an author if the writing is so easy. I’m pretty sure anyone who’s ever written anything knows what the problem is with that assumption.
As it happens, writing a story is really just a small part of the overall process. A first draft doesn’t do a bit of good if you don’t polish it until it shines through intensive edits. Edits to make sure the story makes sense and that the pacing is good and that the voice stays consistent throughout. And then there are the edits to make sure your spelling and grammar at least resemble English. And really it’s a lot of tedious work and much much harder than writing a story will ever be for me.
I finished I Wish back at the end of January and set it aside to work on the sequel (everyone agrees a novel needs time to sit so that you’re not so involved with it and can see the plot holes easier). Except the sequel didn’t go so well. I did a lot of research into the 3 act story structure so that my story would work better, who am I to argue with hundreds of years of storytelling? But all I managed to do was completely stifle my creative urges. After a month of half hearted plotting, I finally just gave up completely and took a break from anything resembling writing.
So I spent the whole of last month playing video games for the most part. I’ve mostly gotten over my addiction to Pocket Frogs, but I still think it’s the cutest game ever. I still play Rift most evenings with my love. I crossed over to the dork side years ago and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fake being totally normal, but I’ve made my peace with that.
Now I’m feeling inspired again, finally. Of course, I’m behind my projected publication date now. Luckily, the only person I’m letting down right now is myself. I don’t have a legion of fans counting down the days until my next book comes out and I don’t have publication deadlines set forth by a company to meet. That part is nice. What isn’t so nice is that it’s all on me to make this book as polished and awesome as humanly possible. That’s a hard task for anyone, but since this is my first project, it’s especially difficult.
I’ve heard it recommended that an author should have several trunk novels written before they even think of submitting anything for publication. I think there’s some merit to that way of thinking, but I believe in this story. I think it’ll find it’s audience and make me proud. I just think it’s going to take some work to get there.
I’m going to use the Holly Lisle method of editing. It seems in-depth, but mostly it’s because there just aren’t nearly as many articles about the how tos of editing as there are about writing. I assume there’s a much higher likelihood that someone will start writing than there is that the same person will make it to the editing stage. I know that’s been the case for me so far, anyway. Even now that I have the chance to see a project through to completion, I opt to take the path of complete avoidance.
That’s about where I am at this point. On the one hand I’m attempting to edit my story… I printed a hard copy yesterday and it’s ready to go. And on the other, I’m working on an adult paranormal story with some romantic overtones. It’s another project I’m excited about, but I haven’t given myself a formal daily word count yet. I haven’t even finished the outline. I started writing one, but then the ideas for the first couple of scenes were so compelling I felt like I needed to write them immediately. I’m hoping to get an outline finished in the next week or two and figure out a word count.
I can’t even guess at when I’ll finish my edits and be ready to look at publication. I’ve never really attempted something like this before. I’d like to get something to my beta readers by the first week of May or so. Then it just depends on how fast they read and what issues they have with the book. I’m going to hope for June. It’s a little disappointing after the goal I originally had of getting everything done by mid April, but I can’t honestly expect to slack off for months at a time and still make my goals.
Ok, enough goofing off. Back to work. If you have any advice about the editing process, please feel free to share. At this point I welcome any and all advice.