So Can-Con is coming to Ottawa. I heard about this through the Ottawa Writer’s Circle. Some of the organiser’s belong to OWC. So I registered already. Here’s what has me excited: I get to pitch my novel to select Canadian publishing companies. I have signed up for three and will wait to see the others. You can only sign up for three online for some reason.
One company only publishes Science Fiction and prefers Canadian content novels. So I am happily going to pitch Symbiotic Patriotic, my Sci-Fi novel. It has gathered dust, but I can breathe new life into it. This novel takes place in present day and starts in Algonquin Park before heading to Ottawa. Hopefully, this meets their desires. I LOVE this story but stopped writing it because I didn’t think I could write it properly. I’ve changed my mind. I totally can. It is a novel about someone discovering ancientnanotechnology. ‘Nuff said.
But it is Craobh I want to pitch and with it Duilleog. I would love to get picked up by a publishing house. That would make my day. Editing would come with it and hopefully a much better polish on my writing. Here’s what people don’t realise: almost everyone can write. It just comes down to just how much work someone who is professional at editing has to do to get your novel into mainstream quality for publishing. Oh, and you need to tell a good tale. But that just takes imagination.
While writing Duilleog I gave many advance copies of the manuscript to my friends and family. I had mixed support. My aunt gave me inspiration and asked me a great question one day that made me go “Wow!” and make a change in the novel. One of my friends accidently threw the manuscript out with the recycling and then didn’t have the courage to simply tell me. He has no idea just how angry and disappointed I was in that single act. Mostly though, I received praise. Everyone loved it. No constructive criticism, though. So, I thanked everyone honestly and sincerely.
So I relied on my editor. She did such a great job with the first chapter. But after I gave her the full novel I discovered that what I got back was merely a typo check and grammar correction. Nothing more really. And it wasn’t a lot of effort. Probably 10 hours worth of Track Changes. I should point out that my own ability to find typos was pretty good and so the corrections were truly minor. What I didn’t get from my editor was comments on the content, the storyline, plot holes, character development. Stuff I paid for but didn’t get. What I got was: “It’s fine.”
I was in a weird place back then. I was so excited about getting my novel out that I suppressed my concern and I went ahead and self-published. I was at the point that I could no longer see the forest for the trees. I thought my novel complete. I thought it good enough. It was, but it could have been better polished.
So the other day, a good friend who is just finishing up my novel sat me down and pulled out a list of errors and corrections that he found. He talked to me about the plot, storylines, wording, repetitive use of words, things that didn’t seem quite right to him. I could have hugged and kissed him and came damn close to doing just that. And he was worried he would offend me! That made me laugh. I told him that I was so absolutely thankful that I couldn’t possibly express it properly. So Steve C.: Thanks! Sincerely! OMG, you rock dude.
So, now I need to look at putting out a second edition. There are quite a few little problems that need to be fixed. Nothing major – all minor – but stuff my editor should ABSOLUTELY have picked up and corrected. Makes me angry knowing that my editor took my money and did the absolute minimum she could. It’s shameful. I need to find a good editor and hopefully I may have a way to seek that. I’ll explain in another post.
For those who have already purchased Duilleog: this corrected version should automatically be pushed to you on Amazon. if not, no worries. The corrections are simply typos and minor changes to word use. I didn’t do too bad a job with the first edition. It’s about 99.5% correct. Truly it is.
Oh, and the excerpt from Craobh that’s at the back of Duilleog? That will now become the epilogue within Duilleog.