Yet Another area of ignorance

Shocking? When I wrote my first novel I had no idea… ! It reminds me of the day when I was a typesetter and layout artist (yes, that long ago). Then, they brought in the Macs. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. History repeats. I wrote my novel and then had to figure out what I had in my hands. I wrote two more novels, getting better all the time (I hoped). My fourth novel was picked up and is currently being published. What inspired the content of this blog was the free webinar on Marketing A Novel I sat in on. After learning the method of better writing and then the seemingly insurmountable task of getting a publisher to look at it. I now find I am responsible for marketing it as well. The publisher is in a position to do a great amount of the marketing, but as an author I also have the responsibility to pursue yet another aspect of getting my novel into the hands of readers.

One of the things I came away from the webinar was that there are so many experts out there offering a formula for a successful run at getting a book published. Including myself to an extent. I remind the reader that I am only blogging about my experience, whatever luck I possess, and effort I put in. One hundred authors/experts will give you one hundred different views of their path to getting their book published.

Marketing is my husband’s area of expertise, lucky for me. I rely on him for this third prong of my journey. There are many hands out there willing to take your hard-earned money. They may be perfectly justified to do so considering the supply and demand element of capitalism. In my experience the most helpful donations I made to the cause was in professional editing. I listened to every word they said; I bought the tools they recommended, took to heart their constructive criticism, and focused on the job at hand. The fee for the book launch extravaganza was double what the full-weekend one-on-one with a highly successful professional editor was. (I didn’t opt for that one either). I started with a short story and paid a reasonable amount for the edit. I then had a partial MS edited. I was so far off the mark that the editor was able to put me on track it was after that I decided to settle on The Summer Palace as my do or die novel and make it the best work of art I could. The common denominator between the two experiences was that they both felt I had what it took to write a good novel.

We finalized the cover for The Summer Palace. I decided to do the original artwork to eliminate copyright fees and legalities. I was very happy with the results and so was my production manager. I’m waiting (again) for the second round of proofs. As soon as I approve and sign off– it’ll take about one month to print. So, hence, the marketing issues looming up at me. As a result of the marketing webinar I now realize I probably should have started months ago. Three months is the recommended time to do a launch justice. I have less than two. I think. I have to rely on e-mails I have collected, facebook friends and family, and I need to find others who can influence buyers of books and get them to steer toward mine. Then I’ll need to set goals and commit to marketing efforts at least two times a week for a solid year–promotional emails, book signings, interviews, etc.

I am now glad I set some goals for myself to finish the two books and start a third while I waited all fall and winter for the first set of proofs from the publisher, for now my mind is preoccupied searching for local book clubs, networking with local authors, and establishing myself as an author as well as a writer.

Older and Wiser

Shortly after my last post I received the first round of proofs from my publisher. Now, I am a little wiser as far as this process goes and can share some things. The files came to me in Word with all the capable tools for marking up proofs. It was a pleasant experience, after the learning curve. I happened to have had an edit done earlier to a short story I wrote, so I was somewhat familiar with the process. It took about five hours to go through the 71,000 some odd words. Then I settled in to re-read the MS which I haven’t looked at in six months. After I sent in the MS originally I found a few typo’s that I made and winced. Well, there were plenty errors: glaring ones, simple ones spell check didn’t pick up on, and punctuation. The book was styled: indents, title pages, and em dashes. So, now, I have a keener sense of how my publisher formats their books. This is good to know as I write the sequel and other novels for publishing. I hope they like what else I have to offer them.

Getting back to my point. I took me four days to go through the MS. Remember, before I ever sent in my MS I spent four months; reading, re-reading, and editing my novel. (Does it ever end?). It takes a lot of discipline to leave well enough alone. However, I did find some edits that needed to be made even at this point. So many questions are now answered. I wasn’t sure if the proofs would come in as hard copy or in an e-file that was not familiar to me. I work on a Mac and was able to convert the Word file over to Pages and get through it. I feel so much the wiser.

The waiting issue? More waiting about one more month to see a second set of proofs; from writing incessantly to reviewing the MS first set of proofs my mind has had to shift. I haven’t written in about six days. There is also a cover design but it hasn’t been finalized yet. Marketing is a big part of the story yet to be told. These days it’s up to the author to be savvy about getting the word out about their awesome novel in my case, it’s The Summer Palace. I will also learn about that part of the process as we proceed.

Please keep the comments coming. I appreciate all you have to say.

The Life of a Writer

I am a writer. Soon to be an Author. Pe,rhaps, I’m already one. Not sure what the qualification is. Doesn’t matter, for I feel like one. I have become insular, writing constantly, and quite boring at social events. I set goals for myself. Last year, at this time, my goal was to get published before my next (monumental) birthday). I fell short by four months. Those four months were spent doing what I am still doing today– dedicating myself to my craft, constantly at it, and not doing much else. Oh, I step away for coffee, bringing my daughter back and forth to school, and making dinner. After the goal I had set for myself was reached I decided I needed to complete a WIP that requieed much editing and re-writing, and I threw in the project of writing a sequel to the book currently being published. I reached that goal and then some. I decided the series would be a trilogy and that is 50% completed.

I realize when the proofs do arrive I will be going through my story again with a fine-toothed comb with time available for little else, hence the writing frenzy I have been engaged in. I do love this earlier stage of writing. I am writing scenes but being careful to keep within a time sequence. I have learned to avoid mistakes that catch up in the editing stage causing major re-work, but then again there are plenty more mistakes to go around.

That reminds me. I went back and read some of my earlier blogs. So many mistakes, but I decided not to edit them at this point. It’s a reminder of how raw I really was starting out. And still, after all this time the editors at the publishing company have their own style that is inherent and no amount of my re-working and sweating over commas and participles will gel. That is the point I was at when I submitted Summer Palace after four grueling months of re-work. I was adding commas during one pass and removing them on another. I closed the cover (so to speak) and sent it off with all the necessary attachments. Of the ten queries I sent at that time only two were responded to. One was a hit. Within two weeks of sending three sample chapters a request for a full MS came through.

Summer Palace was originally a short story. I wanted to enter a contest and asked my sister for a prompt. From one line, a mere suggestion of a story, a stand alone novel turned into a trilogy.

Now, if they react to the sequel as they did to the original, and so on, it’ll be the best news I’ve heard in about seven months. The protagonists Katia and Wiley are fifteen and seventeen years old respectively. In the third book they are mid-thirties. The setting goes from Russia in the first, to Poland in the second, and Hungary in the third installment. Each book spanning about eight years average from the end of the Seventeenth Century to the beginning of the Eighteenth Century. It’s a love story wrapped up in Historical Fiction. So much uncertainty from wars, slavery, and childbirth to contemplate.

I am intrigued by Eastern Europe in this time period. In my research I run across people, places, and things that inspire me. It is the passion for these things that come through in my stories, keep me writing, and creating characters that might have lived then working their way through each crisis. The odds are against Katia and Wiley every step of the way. Read about their lives and the interesting people they meet along the way, places they make their own, and lives they influence.

Thanks again for comments and keep reading the blog for updates and the final announcement that the book is in print and where you can pick it up.

Tidying Up

I am at a crossroads. I have finished two novels during the publishing phase of my first novel. I thought I would clean up my workstation, take a breath, and clear my mind.

In the past month, give or take, I have heard twice from my production manager at the publisher. Nothing new, the MS has not gone to proofread as of today. On a positive note, my goal of two more completed novels by this time has been reached. I have written the sequel to my novel Summer Palace coming to a bookstore near you May 2017. The Tea Room, women‘s fiction complete at 78,000 words is also in the wings.

I enjoy the comments. However, of the 565 registered users only about half are legit. That is one problem with having an open blog. I plan to run a contest to name the other two novels in the trilogy. The name of my first novel is Summer Palace, based on that the second novel is now called Autumn Place the third in the series is called Winter Dwelling. I want to put it out there that I’m looking for suggestions for the second and third titles. Summer Palace is etched in stone and cannot be changed. So, based on that I’m looking for suggestions. I want to wait until the first in the series is printed so I can offer a signed copy of Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo as a prize. So hang in. I figure this exercise will help me to distinguish my real commenters from the robots and spammers that slipped by my screening. On that note, some of the comments come in various languages and unfortunately, I only read and speak English of the American variety. So, if you have sent comments in a foreign language I appreciate your input, but can’t read it.

I have started the third in the series and I’m not planning a fourth at the moment. I have two other novels I’ve started but are WIP’s. As I’m tidying up, I’m contemplating what my next project will be after I’ve completed the trilogy.

I did something different with Autumn Place I wrote it as scenes not in sequence as I did the first one. I didn’t understand the concept in my earlier works and I’m not convinced it’s something I want to continue. I found myself repeating portions from scene to scene and had a bit of re-positioning and editing when I was done. I believe I wrote cleaner, not sure if that was a result of the method or I might be getting better at writing. When I read that a writer needs to write and only write to be succesful. I raised an eyebrow. But, you know what? I find he was correct. Life gets in the way. Not everyone can drop everything and sit in front of a computer 24/7. But, that is the formula, I am convinced. When I’m writing, truly writing nothing else matters. It’s a lonely world outside the page. That is the intensity, in my opinion, to do your novel justice.

MONEY

If you can it would be good to stock away some money for your WRITERS FUND. Work ten years, save, write four years. I have someone who supports my efforts. I have a business which lately I haven’t been involved in as much. My husband has learned to build a website and send e-mails. In the early days of website construction, knowing html was vital – not so much anymore. He is excited for prospects of marketing a novel. However, if my novel wasn’t picked up five months ago, I’m not sure if I would still be writing. I have spent a bit of money along the way as well. Conferences, contests, manuals, and professional editing. Let’s see –$5,000.00 ballpark.

If you’ve been following me from the beginning, then you will know that I started this endeavor with no idea of what I was getting myself into. I didn’t plan, I hadn’t written much previously, and I knew nothing of the business. I could write for fun, which is how I started, but after a year of writing I wanted my story to be told, my characters to real, and my novel to be read. Two years and one month later, I’m on the brink. On this side of the wall; it’s surreal, jumping up and down enthusiastic, and reactive. On that side of the wall (where my MS is currently); it’s real, methodical – crossing t’s and dotting i’s, and dedicated to the novel/author at hand.

After I made the decision to pursue a publisher I was steeped in the tea of the publishing business (I now drink quite a bit of tea – coffee only previously) I listened to all the suggestions and that is mainly why I started this blog. To market my book. However, it’s hard to market something that doesn’t exist anywhere but in the pages of a  MS. So, I plan to have a contest and talk about my women’s historical fiction with romance elements Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo that takes place in 17th Century Russia complete at 71,114 words. If you enjoy my blog, you’ll love my book.

Proofs are coming so is Christmas

I have been laboring over the fact that the waiting for proofs from the publisher is killing me. I am ignorant of the process. From all I have read you can expect to wait two years from signing a contract to getting an actual book to hold in your hand. Delays in contracts, edits, and communication are all factors.

Christmas has come and gone and I’m still waiting. As I keep mentioning; this blog is meant to document the process and so far patience is the key word. I ran across this forum which is a few years old but certainly still applies. https://stevelaube.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-published/

I found it to be very helpful each case scenario is different from my own experience so far, but the bottom line is the same. Patience. I sent a query along with three chapters to a publisher last July. I was asked for the complete MS in August 2016. I signed the contract and submitted a synopsis, author’s bio, and suggestion for a cover by September 12. So, after reading the article and comments I find I am not as far behind as I thought. I wish the publisher could give a better idea of the process in the beginning. I was told nine months. Which is perfect, but I wish I had a little more communication with my production manager. Always pleasant and reminding me to e-mail any questions and also reminding me to be patient. I don’t want to be one of those clients who badger them to the point of annoyance, but I also am so excited and bursting at the seams.

I don’t know what’s happening to my story. Is my sequel building on characters that have changed or entirely deleted? When can I submit my next novel? Am I making common mistakes that I could be correcting as I write this new one?

In three months I have sent three e-mails asking for a progress report. As of my last e-mail that was responded to my MS was still in ‘house styling’ mode and not handed off to proofreading. That was in October 2016. I waited two more months and sent an inquiry shortly before Christmas but haven’t heard back.

If you read the article using the link above you will know my experience is not so different from some, but entirely different from others. I found it comforting to realize that I am still within the time frame discussed in my contract.

So, in the meantime I have finished another novel The Tea Room and in the process of completing another. I am about 75% done with my WIP Winter Dwelling, the sequel to Summer Palace which is the book being published now.

I am writing constantly during the day and reading voraciously especially fantasy fiction at night.

Pure Writing

Good thing I reviewed my last blog, for I was about to repeat most of what I blogged last time. The only change is … my sketch draft is about half way done. PURE WRITING — I love that phase of the process. Putting down the words with little thought about serious details, those names and places that are ironed out later. It’s the raw or pure thoughts that come into view, onto the keyboard, and ultimately on the screen. I work in Pages mostly; the mac equivalent to Word. For submission purposes I simply export in the proper format.

Several comments I’ve received have common questions … like, ‘how long have you been blogging?’ It’s been 1-1/2 years since I started this blog when I was in the process of pitching my very first novel. The main purpose of this blog is to document the steps I have taken to attain my goal of having a published book. It’s a very simple design using themes available through wordpress. So thanks, for the positive comments. So far, I don’t have guest bloggers, videos, or links. I concentrate on the content alone.

As I said earlier, I am in the same situation I was a month ago. I’m still waiting to hear from the publisher. It’s tough waiting and wondering what my MS will look like when I do received the first set of proofs. I have a feeling when I do see the proof it will be a whirlwind trip to the final product. I have already considered cover artwork and sent in some suggestions. They may have a completely different concept and I am very anxious to see the ideas.

What else have I been doing lately? Reading, writing, not much arithmetic. but I have come across several great reads. A couple epic fantasy fictions; The Cycle of Arawn by Edward W. Robinson, Everything by Michale J. Sullivan,  and Winter’s Fire by Giles Kristian and  the latest Historical Fiction from Bernard Cornwell The Flame Bearer. By the way his latest book (10) in the Last Kingdom Series is everything I anticipated it would be. Uhtred of Bebbanburg … well, I won’t be a spoiler here, but it was a great conclusion (?) to the series and now that I have a tad more understanding of all that goes into writing a novel he deserves props for bringing this massive series to a conclusion.

In researching my latest novel, the sequel to Summer Palace, I have been reading Poland by James Michener and The Enemy at the Gate by Andrew Wheatcroft. All adding inspiration to my sequel Winter Dwelling. I have found writing to be an alternate creative outlet for my reckless self, and there is also a more decisive component which is not so much my forte, but is absolutely necessary to corral all those ideas into a readable and organized final product.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

The Process

I’m gearing up for what’s to come in the next few months. I am anxiously waiting to hear from the publisher who I’ve partnered with for my first novel. The first step “house styling” is a monumental task. Most likely the most time-consuming step in the process – I gather. As I know from my last correspondence with the publisher my MS has not gone to the proofreaders yet. I plan to contact them again mid-December and I hope the proofs will be on their way to me by that point.

I am thrilled beyond measure to have success with my fourth novel. My hope is that you will enjoy the story as well.

Summer Palace is a Romance Fiction with Historical Elements. Complete at 71,114 words.

Set in a tumultuous time in Russia, before the reign of Peter the Great, a young man rages against the new man in his mother’s life. Fiona Breuder is a strong woman who has kept the family together after their father abandoned them, and is horrified to find that her son harbored such ill feelings.

Wiley Breuder is sent to work the farm of Herr Brom and soon discovers his love for horses and the simple joys of life it offers. One day he finds a servant girl in his stable and is moved by her simple request to ride a horse for the first and last time.

He soon discovers her true identity after befriending the heir to the Summer Palace. He must elevate his station in life or lose Katia; the one person who touched his troubled heart.

Wiley and the Baron’s son join the Russian army and are immersed into the horror of seven years of war. They aren’t heard from until Pavel arrives home, years later, wounded, and is cared for by Wiley’s sister.

Wiley is given up for dead, and Katia finds herself betrothed to a man she doesn’t love. Despite the devastating news, she makes the fateful decision to find him, but she forfeits her life by disgracing her family and sets off to find the boy who sacrificed everything to win her father’s approval.

Please watch for it this spring.

In the meantime, I have finished my third novel after a complete reconstruction it is ready to be presented. The Tea Room is a Historical Fiction complete at 76,231 words. It also is set in Russia in the 17th Century with all new characters and circumstance.

I have started to write a sequel to Summer Palace for now I’m calling it Winter Dwelling but that may change. I am again enjoying the early stages of writing a novel. However, I am now much more aware of the process and hope to avoid some of the errors I made in my first novels. The errors I refer to are the hours of work that come with getting a ‘sketch draft’ (which is what I call my first draft) ready for publishing; format, structure, syntax, pov, etc.

I have set goals for myself and I’m happy to say I’m on target  give or take a few months.

Originally, I planned to have my novel in the process of being printed by my substantial birthday in April 2016. I was devastated when the irons I had in the fire grew cold. However, I didn’t give up and emerged myself in a re-education and re-edit. Four months later I sent out the query and was happy to receive an offer for my story. My second goal was to have another MS ready in case my first story went over so well they’d want first option on another. As of today, I have reached that goal.

My next goal? I’d better get on that. Four published novels by my next substantial birthday? Let me sleep on that.

Observations from my side

I wanted to write a story. Nlyot a bestselling novel or a trilogy that will inspire a movie or bring in the big bucks. I wasn’t looking for the formula ‘boy band’ technique of writing that would hit all the bells and whistles of the perfectly constructed book of the day. I sat down and started to write a story. Much like most things I have done in life … you know, one foot in front of the other … just do it, the little engine, etc.. Enter ignorant and come out educated – that is the plan.

This is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s more a labor of love.  At the end of the day you have to end up with something that is so much a part of you that if it never sees the light of day – that would be okay.

Well, it would be nice to share the story. The characters, the setting, and the essence you breathed into it deserves recognition, right? Your characters will be loved and their story will keep the readers on the edge of their seats.

The rejection, the time spent, the hours re-writing is part of the process – I find. But, is my story worth it? From which far off recesses in my mind did this story flow what is the source? There are so many great stories and so many great authors, and what’s one more? One more little book on the shelf with my name on it. Is that the allure? Not sure.

It certainly takes drive. It takes more than drive: confidence, commitment, and a little derangement. It’s also a waiting game time to revisit your patience – in this day and age? Really?  Send out twenty queries and wait. Throw everything out there and see what sticks. A barrage of procedure awaits and I can only talk about the point where I’m at now. Waiting for proofs. Wondering about what comes next and how will it all turn out? There will be a press release.

I have finished my second book and only need to print it out and read it in it’s hard-copy format. Look for glaring errors in timeline, research, and grammar. I am loosely formulating what my next project will be. I have several WIP’s, but I am itching to free write again. I await some inspiration in the meantime I will readdress one of my stories which have been put aside for over eight months; because, that is the depth of dedication needed (for me) to get to an acceptable product.

I hope my latest effort is as well received as my first one eventually was (after 200 rejections).

The Not Waiting Continues

Another two weeks has passed, it’s becoming a pattern these two week intervals between blogs. I shot an e-mail off to the publisher for a progress report. My MS is being formatted and I need to give them more time to get through the proofread, and then I will get the proofs in the post.

But, I’m not waiting, I forge on. My Tea Room novel is growing by leaps and bounds, but I have hit a few snags. Timeline errors and my plan for the book has shifted somewhat. Originally, I wanted to get into the mind of my main character and look at the world from her limited POV. I have drifted away from that and now I need to reassess my reason for writing this story. How does she exist? How does she get through her days? This is coming from a twenty-first century woman trying to understand a seventeenth century woman. Are we that much different?

By the way, I am reading a book (audio) Rise of Empire by Michael J. Sullivan, I am thoroughly enjoying the second book in the series the Riyira Revelations. It’s an epic fantasy and very well written and amusing. I thought I would add that into the mix.

Anyway, I am working hard and not being distracted by outside influences. It seems to be working for me. This blog is my story of how I got to where I am. Last year at this time; I was entering contests, writing short stories, and building a platform to market myself. This year I am strictly writing and time will tell if I have found the answer to my dilemma of getting my novel published.

I have always believed in fate and not fighting against the set backs I have encountered. If you’ve been reading my blog you will know that I have had rejections that took the wind out of my sails (about three days to recover). It’s therapeutic to step back and look at my work trying to understand why others don’t see what I see.

I was lucky, my MS hit ; the right place, at the right time, and read by the right people. I heard that mantra over and over, and it’s true. Don’t give up there is someone out there who gets the message you are trying to send.

One day; I was on one side of the wall, the next day I had scaled it, but got hung up. Now, I’m not quite sure what I will find when I eventually free myself and fall into the partnership I have formed with my publisher. Again, the more time that goes by I start to wonder about those questions … How much are they going to edit my work? The common errors I make, and I know I make plenty, but will I be able to learn to avoid them in my next novel? What does my production person think of my novel? I plan to learn from this experience and write more smoothly … get right to the point before I spend months cleaning it up. I’m sure different publishers have their own criteria and way they do things. I will have to learn that as well.

This was the fourth book I wrote and it was a gamble to set my sights on this one and stick with it. I’m not sure if the first three will ever be published. I plan on writing more novels it’s a creative outlet that I had no idea I could channel until I sat down to write. Was it good enough? Besides the editors at the publishing company there was only one other person who read it; my dear sister, Catherine. She thought it was good enough and made me believe it. Now, others will believe it as well. The Summer Palace by S. Forrest Nomakeo watch for it — Spring 2017 at a bookseller near you.

So, my advice. Write it, live it, breath it, and surround yourself with loved ones, and believe in yourself.

Time Flies

It has been almost three weeks since my last blog. I have to continue telling my story, because, it is only partially complete. Perhaps, I will never be done. Last blog I mentioned the contract I received. I sent it back immediately on August 23. I received a questionnaire and a request for pen name and actual title I want to use. So many options. My name is twenty one letters long. Too long I figure for a normal paperback sized book. I had to shorten it somehow. What gives? My first name which has some nostalgia connected. My middle name which is actually my maiden name which I changed when I was married. Or my last name, my spouse’s name which I have had longer than my own name. I decided S. Forrest Nomakeo would be my pen name. The title Summer Palace was already decided, but what about a sub title? A Path to Destiny, Unbridled Destiny or A long way home. I decided no subtitle, so simply Summer Palace.

The questionnaire was thorough and the fact that I had queried this book, written a synopsis, formed a log line, and biography–was a great help. So I suggest when you complete your novel get to writing those necessary bits of information. It may actually help you with your story. The questionnaire took a few hours, but it would have been a struggle without having those thoughtful considerations of my story in place.

I am now waiting for a first set of proofs. I have been assigned a production person and have been in contact with the production department. Right now, my hands are free. Tomorrow will be one week since I sent in the required questionnaire and name confirmation.

What I did next, with the help of my sister Catherine, was to make a plan. I’m giving myself six months to complete two novels. Both of which have been completed and sent out and refused or rejected by agents. I hate to admit it, it hurts to admit it, but I can almost see why. After learning more about the technical aspect of writing, I’m assuming this because my novel was picked up, and applying it to these other two books I believe they have become better and still a hell of a lot of fun to write or re-write in my case. After the six month time frame I may be too busy to write for a time. I’ll need to dedicate time and energy to marketing my book. Yeah! I’d love to send a second novel to the publisher on the heals of the first one. Not sure what their thoughts will be on that, but I must be prepared.

I had been spending time reworking my third book, but its a sci-fi time traveling fantasy far too different from my Historical Fiction Romance that is being printed. My second and third books (part A) are more along the Historical Fiction genre and will fall in nicely after Summer Palace. In the questionnaire I sent in I was asked to supply a vision for the cover of my book. Being a designer I couldn’t resist that one They may or may not take a suggestion, but they wanted to hear my thoughts. There are so many issues to be excited about, but I have to wait patiently. No one likes an antsy client.

When I wrote my first book Woven and had it out on queries only to wait three or four months to receive no reply, which means no in this industry. I didn’t–wait that is. I wrote my second book. And when Woven was sent in to an agent as a partial MS another month of waiting. I continued to write my second book Tea Room.

When I received a no on the partial MS I sent it into the book Pipeline thinking perhaps it had enough story to be picked up there. So queries went out on my second novel and I started to write my third story a Historical Fiction called Curious Allure. Which I eventually separated into two books. The aforementioned and The Places You Will Be From. Places as I refer to it is the Sci-Fi Fantasy I mentioned earlier that I had worked on for the past month, but have since put it aside to finish Historical Fiction books two and three.

So, that is where I am. Waiting but not waiting. I’m building an arsenal for my panser attack. To all of you pantsers that write like me what you have at the end of your writing frenzy is a Sketch Draft. A wonderful thing and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Us pantsers have to stick together. If you have a solid beginning, middle, and end, that is about 40,000 or 50,000 words, then you have what you need to end up with a 70,000 to 80,000 word novel once you go in and embellish, outline your characters, describe your scenes, and develop dialogue. Don’t forget proofread. It must be your best effort. Granted it will be morphed by an in-house editor but it will be earlier for them to sift through if it is written well. N.B. I worked for four months perfecting my MS. However, after that I slammed the cover and sent it out. I was second guessing small details and decided that that was enough.

Again, I recommend the Novel Maker’s Handbook by Diane O’Connell. If you’re like me it made sense.

Looking at the word count and being mindful that I have to get back to finishing my novel–I will sign off. I will keep you posted on my progress and all the exciting anticipatory fun of getting a book published and all it entails.