Writing a Book about Writing a Book

I needed a purpose to write a blog. So, I decided to blog about my efforts to write a novel and get it published. I should write a book. As I journeyed through I started to worry … what good is writing a blog about writing a book if there is no success?

That thought occurred many times and when you’re experiencing one failure after another the realization is quite depressing. Is that what has kept me going? The fear of having egg on my face or the thought of writing about all my mistakes? Putting every misstep out there for the world to see. Now, I believe that won’t be nagging at me anymore; because, I have an offer from a publisher to print my novel.

Originally I was following suggestions to build a platform and get an online presence. It’s strange because, when push came to shove I put the blogging aside and even suggested that writing the book is the most important objective. IT IS; however, the blogging helped the writing skills and I have gained several readers of my blog that have sent great comments that truly kept my spirits up. Now that I have an offer I also have a platform already established. So what is my point? Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

I’m thinking how cool will it be to continue to blog beyond what has culminated to this point. This particular story started, as you know, if you have been reading my blog, by following the advice of an agent who rejected my partial MS. I pitched this agent at the WDC ’15. However, along with the rejection e-mail she recommended a book. The Jeff Herman Guide to Book Publishers, Editors & Literary Agents. In this book I found the publisher that sent me a contract. I also followed the advice of two editors I hired for two different projects. Diane O’Connell’s book the Novel Makers Handbook was used to edit the Summer Palace the novel that is going to be published.

I also have a very supportive family. My spouse has given me every opportunity to explore my creative impulse to write a novel. My sister has read every bit of writing I have thrown at her and has painstakingly sat with me through tough edits and red wine.

How did I get here? Fear, determination, and creative necessity.

Earlier, I blogged about the wait. Five weeks later I got my answer. In the meantime, I have been writing my next novel and I hope this publisher will be interested in that as well as other irons I have in the fire.

In my notice above about people I am grateful for I failed to mention my readers of this blog. From time to time I have mentioned how the comments have helped. Thank you for your interest in my story and the saga continues.

I am going to dedicate this book to Catherine. She is my sister and the inspiration for this new path I am on. Today I will mail in the contract and I will continue to share my experience with you.

Still Waiting

I’m taking the time out today to blog. I am still waiting for what will hopefully be my big news. I have a full MS being reviewed by editor’s at a publishing company. I am trying not to dwell on the idea of the doors that may open because it is not a certainty. It is further than I have ever gotten in this business, but I have had so many rejections and no responses that I am a little tentative to run out in the street and scream to the heavens.

I am not waiting however,  my power packed novel Places You Will Be From  was a 70,000 word completed MS. But, when I sent it out for a professional edit I was told it was too much for one book. Between the accidental time travel, too many characters,  and futuristic interference from a 25th Century genius it was cut down to 20,000 words for the book. So, I decided to write a trilogy.

Coincidentally, I was reading a novel by Michael Sullivan Age of Myth a good story and the first in a three part series the second book will be out in Summer 2017. In the prologue, the author mentioned that he writes all three books before he releases the first one. That way he can thread the story between all three books and not have problems with a break through in content or publishing restrictions. Before I heard this (audiobook) I had a similar plan. You may discover something about a character in the second half of the second book and only have regrets if the book is already being published. The author did warn about the difficulty of writing three books at once, but I do see the benefits. I have also read Elegant Universe by Physicist, Brian Greene for research for my current book. I am reading it again for obvious reasons.

I am also going to a location to research a part of this current book. This is the first time I am doing that. I am also using my hometown and the familiar landmarks surrounding it. That is also a first. It’s fun writing about things you know.

So, I am working hard to have the books written while I wait for the decision on my book Summer Palace. I had a successful first read through with my sister on Places You Will Be From 1 I had gone through scene by scene and did a character outline. It is currently 36,000 words. Places You Have Been 2 is currently 34,000 words and Places You Have Never Been 3 is at 3,500 words. I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

What is great about it is. Free writing when you wish, careful editing when you have to, and filling in details when the mood moves you. Choices, I love choices.

I have several other projects. One of which is the reason I started this blog. Woven In Time is in stasis. It is waiting for me to get the skill I need to tackle it again. It was my first book 140,000 words full of jam packed action and fantasy and rejected queries and partial MS. After the professional edit on Places You Will Be From I learned that I have several books wrapped up in Woven In Time. There is also The Tea Room a 65,000 word novel also on hold. I also have two short stories Lucid Dreams and Curious Allure both of which have the potential to become novels. There are several irons in the fire.

I have received some great comments. Thanks readers and keep them coming. I appreciate the offers to share links and co-author but at this point I am focusing on my writing and can’t take on any additional projects.

Spilling More Guts

My first blog ever was This Is Me Spilling My Guts and that was a little over one year ago. One of the things I learned and wrote about is that you have to keep your eye on the prize. I listened to every bit of criticism I received. Well, eventually I did.

I stopped blogging, stopped Tweeting, and focused on the task at hand. My writing. I read the writing manuals and grammar books and methodically looked at my work. Of the three books I had on a website that critiqued my work one stood out 10% higher that the rest. I suppose I needed to do all those things to get where I am, but when push came to shove WRITING won out.

After a professional edit on one book I decided to learn the steps of writing a novel by applying them to the story I thought would have the most success or was the most complete. I put everything aside and wrote. I printed it out and spent two weekends proofing it with my sister. Four months later I took one of the recommended books on agents, publishers, and editors and decided to take two from each category and send out queries. I sent two to agents who requested woman’s fiction, two to  agents I thought would be receptive to my story, two to independent publishers, two to commercial printers, two to agents who prefer fiction. One publisher requested three chapters, but not necessarily the first three, for they requested any three.

I had combed through the first line of this book, first paragraph, first page, and first chapter so many times that this idea intrigued me. So, I picked three chapters from the end of the novel. Five days later I received a request for the full MS.

You heard me right. It came in the mail. US post. I had to read it twice; because, if you’ve read my blog you know I have sent out over 50 queries and received half as many rejections. The point is. I got really serious with my writing. Made myself crazy over periods and commas. Then told myself I was done. Six weeks is what it will take to hear one way or another. So I wait. but not really. I am working on the book I put aside to learn the skills and steps.

Spilling my guts is what I’m doing. I had a tendency not to mention my milestone. It is a first for me and if it’s another rejection. I’ll take it badly of course, but I will be so much closer to my goal of getting published. I did have a partial MS accepted before, but it was eventually rejected. So, I imagine what it would be like to be over that hurdle and I’m sure I’ll share it with you right here in this blog. Spilling my guts.