This post has been coming for a long time now. This post has been virtually in the works for 10 months. Over a thousand hours of my life spent working toward a goal. And just a few days ago, I reached that goal.
My book is done.
I have, for the first time in my life, completed a story I set out to finish. Through countless attempts, I have finally completed my first step, as a writer, toward my dream.
I am an Author.
All of that said, it’s time I take my next few steps. As I posted in a prior update, I’ve begun querying agents. However, as you all know, this is a long and painful process. Additionally, I posted an update about future plans and story ideas. I have made my choice and will begin outlining shortly. In the mean time, I’m recovering from fatigue and taking up a few short stories that I’ve had floating around for a while.
However, before I sign off and take my much needed break, I will drop the WIP name of my next book.
It certainly doesn’t feel like only 8 days have passed since my last post. This update will be short, but it’s a major one. As of today, I am querying agents. As of today, I’ve taken the next step in becoming a published author.
Now, I don’t assume it’ll work out immediately and everything will be sun shine and rainbows, but it is a big step. My book is finally in a state where only the eyes of an agent and editor can improve it. I can make tiny tweaks here and there for months, sure. However, I feel comfortable with what I’ve accomplished and waiting around trying to nail perfection won’t get me anywhere. It’s time to face the crucible and suffer rejection as all authors before me. Hopefully with it, I will grow.
Nearly a month has passed and finally I return. I went to my grandfather’s 90th birthday and was able to spend a little time with both of my grandparents. My grandmother was doing as well as I could hope. It was awkward being around so many family members. The hundred and ten degree weather didn’t help the experience either. I’m just glad I was able to see them.
My writing stagnated after I received the feedback and it’s taken a lot to get myself back into the groove of things. However I’ve been in contact with her and she has given me lots of guidance.
I entered the Pitch to Publication event too. It helped get me writing again and even though I’m pretty sure I’m out of the running, it was far from a waste of time. I wrote an entirely new opening that brings the reader right in. I got a bunch of revisions done to the first chapter to make things flow better. And on top of that, I got some good experience in writing query letters. Over all, it was a good for me.
Today I sort of just woke up and started doing things. General house work, gardening, finishing a closet, and then I simply opened up my manuscript and started editing. I’ve gotten through the first chapter and I’m awaiting her critiques of the second and third. So in the mean time, I worked up the energy to write this update and to say that I haven’t given up.
The announcement is a little belated, but last Thursday (5/7/15) I finished the first round of edits of my story. I still have plenty more to do, but now I can finally say I have a completed first draft; though some chapters are as far as revision 5. Using standard spacing, Times New Roman, and size 12 font, it’s roughly 170 pages and 69,000 words. I’m amazed at how I used to worry about the book not being long enough, but that’s approximately right on genre target. Almost certainly, I’ll have to try and tighten things up to reduce the page and word count, though I’m not certain with my current level of skill I will accomplish much on my own. However I have a skilled Beta reader, a technical writer, and a connection with a published author who can hopefully give me her opinion and insight.
As I wait for feedback, my plans are mostly laid out. Now that I’ve returned to the beginning of the book with fresh eyes, I’m going to rework the first few pages into a proper opening. At the moment, even if it’s acceptable for my POV, it feels like an info dump. I’m going to highlight the essential setting details the reader must know and then figure out how to distribute the rest cleanly. My intent is to get the reader into the story within three paragraphs if possible. I’ll also look into different methods of entry, so likely I’ll be working on this section for the rest of the week if I’m unlucky. From there on, I’ll be going through my notes while tightening each chapter.
I’m excited and terrified by the impending querying process, but that isn’t any of my concern until I’ve made the book as polished as I possibly can. I much continue to work hard no matter how insurmountable the challenge may seem.