I finally have my first novel, Duilleog, in with the editor over at Metamorphosis Editing. I’m pretty excited about it. The revision work took me a long time to do but only because I was finding it hard to find time to actually sit down and do the work. But it’s done and it’s in and I can kind of relax now for a bit and focus on other projects. Such as moving back to Canada with my family.
You might be interested to note that after I sent the novel to Metamorphosis I sat down to just read my story while trying to reach a place of “reader” rather than “writer” and I was successful for a little while. I actually enjoyed reading my own novel! Go figure. Then I found more typos and that was it – back to editing again. There is a certain pleasure in having completed the amount of work that goes into a novel at this stage in its creation. I’ve written over 112,000 words in this novel and about 50,000 words written in the second novel (Stoc). And I complain when I have a 4,000 word essay due for my course. Too funny.
Anyway, the novel should hopefully be back by the end of the month. Then I can make the recommended changes and THEN I can finally publish it. So mid-May is looking pretty good for now. I’ll let you know. Promise.
So I have missed my own assigned deadline for my first novel. It has sat untouched for a few months now. I have lots of excuses though. I wrote a cookbook and had it printed. That’s one excuse. I started a Distance Learning staff course in September and that may have been the biggest mistake.
I’ll complete the course – I have no choice – but it was a mistake because it thrust me firmly back in military writing AND it eats up just about all my spare time. More accurately it eats into the spare time I had allotted to writing. And to be more honest, the course demands a lot of writing and after a while you get tired of writing.
I haven’t forgotten my book. It won’t let me forget. It whispers to me all the time. Spooky stuff. My goal is to get it to my editor BEFORE I turn fifty.
The good news. There has to be some, correct? The good news is that I am more ‘sure’ that the first novel is correct in its present format. It is in two parts, you see. The first part is all lovely fun stuff with a great character. The second part is really gloomy stuff but critical stuff. I was thinking of merging the two and I have really thought long and hard about that. I have decided not to. I am happy with the way it is. So there nagging brain voice. Shut up already!
More good news. I have solved a problem in my other novel. My sci-fi one. I just need oodles of time to write it now.
Lastly, I have the most amazing gem of a new idea for a story in my head. It makes me giddy just thinking about it. I mean, it really excites me and I need that to write it. Its urban fantasy and life after death and other stuff and it just kind of hit me one night as I was trying to go to sleep. Why is it that all my great ideas happen when I am trying to go to sleep? And why is it that I solve my writing problem whilst I am running? No idea.
A few days ago I had an epiphany and it was a pretty obvious one. It came while I was working on one of my chapters and realised that I really hate doing revisions. More precisely: I loathe editing my own work. I’m too close to the work and cannot make unbiased decisions for the life of me.
Then the stars aligned when I stumbled on the world of freelance editing. Before then all my research on editing had pointed to major publishing houses. Then I found an article on freelance editors and heard the pure tone of a single bell stroke.
So what’s the difference, you ask?
Amazon, like most publishing houses, will charge be around $0.025 per word for a full edit using their own editors. Freelance on the other hand charge around $0.0035 per word. With my book being around 100,000 words, give or take, for Amazon that would be $2500. For freelance: $350. Of course you get what you pay for, but, you can reduce risk by spending time on Google and finding and reading reviews of these freelance editors. There are even websites tailored to just that, such as the Editorial Freelancers Association over at http://www.the-efa.org/.
So, with a bit of soul searching, I’ve opted to pursue a freelance editor for my novel, Duilleog: A New Druids Novel (Volume 1). This was a pretty tough decision but it makes sense for all the right reasons. In case you didn’t know: Editors are like rock stars. If they happen to edit a great book and it goes bestseller then their street cred goes way up and they get to charge more. If you are patient (and lucky) you can find a new young editor; still looking to make a name and hungry and eager, and you can get quality editing done for a fraction of the cost. I like to call this Indie Editing. And I love Indie music. So it fits. And let me be honest with myself and you: I suck at editing. Anyone else has to be better, right? Right.
I may have found a freelance editor. First I need to throw her a chapter from my book and then she’ll give me a sample of her work. Then I can decide. My fingers are crossed.
This means that any hope of publishing my book by Christmas is shattered. Why, you cry? A few reasons:
1. I need to complete the first revision before I can think to submit anything to an editor. You CAN’T submit drafts. That is plain rude and I will end up paying for the editing of crap. Crap in, crap out. My first revision will be done by end-November (worst case).
2. I then submit my work to the editor. Editing 100,000 words takes time and I am not just going for a spell check. She will need about a month. This takes us to end-December – but it’s also Christmas and there will be rejoicing – so add a couple of weeks and we’re now at Mid-January, 2015.
3. Once it is edited I need to then go through the recommended changes and either agree or disagree. That will take time. Maybe a month? Hard to say. Depends on how much work is recommended for me to change. We are now into February 2015.
4. Then it goes back to the editor for final revision. March 2015.
5. Then back to me for changes. April 2015.
6. Then I publish. April 2015. Note: I turn 50 on April 9th, 2015. Sounds like a great goal to me.
The plus here, the real takeaway, is that it will be published with a much higher level of professionalism. So you will enjoy it more and that’s the real goal. I want my readers to enjoy my work. The $350 and the extra time is worth it to me. In case you didn’t know this effort of mine is not about making money – this is about getting one of the stories from my head out onto paper so that others can hopefully enjoy it. That’s the dream.
The fact that I have bothered to actually create a cover for my novel pretty much means that I am getting close to publishing the novel – but, that is a pretty relative statement – I’ve been writing it since October last year. So almost one year of writing…and maybe three to four months more of effort based on my free time these days. To be honest though, the work has been written in bursts of activity and that is the best result of trying to balance real life with writing – it is hard. If I could just prioritise to writing all the time I would have no worries! Anyway, I finished the first draft only about two weeks ago when I realised that I was actually well into writing the second novel. It was a weird kind of discovery. I couldn’t wait to finish my first draft and then I went and wrote right past it! Long story but it can be summarised by saying I didn’t divide the novels up correctly. Too big for one – so I had to split the story into two.
But that is boring stuff. What I can tell you is that I have written over 300 pages in the first book. It is comprised of two parts for which the first part has been picked at by me many, many times. So the transition from the first draft to the second draft shouldn’t take much time. For this reason I hope to get the first novel up for sale on Amazon before Christmas 2014.
The second volume should be out about six months after that. I can tell you that I have about three more novels in my head for this series. Which surprises me.
Also on the back burner, is my first actual attempt at writing a novel. It’s sci-fi and I love the story and can’t wait to finish it. I wrote myself into a corner and found a way out during my vacation in Canada. But the New Druids novels take precedence now.
After that comes my first urban fantasy novel. That book has been brewing in the back corners of my mind for several years. That will be a hard write. Its not all flushed out in my head yet. Probably because I read so much urban fantasy these days and I am so much in awe of the tremendous talent out there.
Its late and time for bed.
Leave comments – be honest – keep watching this space!