Today is Wednesday. In my short post on Monday, I said I’d be back as soon as I finished the final edit of Separation of Faith prior to sending the manuscript to the publisher. Well, that took a little longer than planned!
Doesn’t everything involved with writing a novel (or any category of book, for that matter) always take so much longer than planned? For example, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the input from my beta readers resulted in the writing of a whole new chapter that takes the reader through part of the story in flashback. That, of course, required going back into research mode so the setting and details of the 1948 time frame would be authentic. That process took a couple of days, with several dips back into the research mode again after I began writing the chapter, whenever I bumped into something I hadn’t anticipated.
Once the chapter was completed, I then had to make sure there was a smooth transition from the previous chapter, the ending of which had to be reworked to lead into the flashback. And I had to rework the beginning of the following chapter as well. Also, there were some things that developed in the new chapter that required a reference later in the book, which had to be worked into existing scenes.
Additional input from my beta readers suggested that one of the relationships in the story was “too perfect.” So, I wove in a dust-up between the two characters. But that insertion resulted in the need for careful scrutiny and revision in subsequent chapters, because every scene after the dust-up that contained those two characters had to be reworked to gradually transition them out of their new conflict/problem back into their good relationship.
And those are just two of the half-dozen elements that came out of the beta reader process. Needless to say, I was off the mark in every single time estimation, the latest of those being on Monday when I implied that I’d be “right back.”
But I’m now here to report that only one stage of the edit remains. Thus far, I’ve been doing all of the editing on the computer, and yet I always like to do the last read-through on hard copy. Some things tend to leap off the printed page, for some reason, that can be easily overlooked on a monitor. For example, I have one character who speaks with a southern dialect. Maintaining consistency with that sort of dialogue is really important, and spotting slip-ups is easier (for me, at least) when the words are on paper.
The manuscript just finished printing a little while ago and is in a binder. I’ll start reading shortly–and my new target for getting the book to the publisher is this Friday, January 22, slightly more than a month beyond my original target. Factoring in the nightmare move into this house that started right before Thanksgiving, and the five-week-long bronchitis, and Christmas, I guess that’s not too bad.
So, why is the heading of this section “Priorities”? Because, in order to get this far since Monday, I finally had to shut down all the other parts of my life except family and food (and food even started to slip yesterday).
Throughout all of my tag surfing since I started to chronicle this Journey last November 4, I have yet to run across anyone who’s figured out how to fully support themselves from their writing and the various offshoots than can grow from a published book. That scenario is, of course, the goal–the dream. And when that time comes, the various components of the writing process will move up to the top of my priority list, taking the place of other things I’ve been able to remove (such as doing something else to pay the bills).
Maybe then I’ll get better about estimating how much time I’m going to need to get something done.
Speaking of Various Offshoots …
This entire Journey is part of a much longer process, in which I’ve been reinventing myself from a corporate marketing person to a writer/editor. Reinventing my resume and the accompanying mindset has taken about fifteen years. But I’m pretty comfortable in the new role and have been speaking on the subject of Reinventing Yourself for some time now. Initially, the presentation was titled Reinventing Yourself over the Age of 50. Then that changed to “over the Age of 60.” Now the title is Reinventing Yourself at Any Age–and the thought has occurred to me that this could very possibly develop into a “platform” (see earlier posts on the important element of establishing a platform for aspiring authors).
On March 5, I’ll be giving that speech on a college campus to a group of senior citizens, some of whom are in their 80’s. Fortunately, I honestly believe in the possibility of reinventing ourselves at any age, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get at least some of those in the audience exciting about pursuing a long-delayed passion, or writing a novel, or maybe a memoir, or taking up ballroom dancing. We’ll see how things go, and I’ll report my findings.
The most significant point about that booking, though, is that I’ll be paid for the speech–and that will be a first. I won’t be getting very much money, but I will be getting some. And the only reason they called me is because several of their members read and loved my first novel (and they know I live in the area).
Speaking engagements will become a big part of my plan/Journey once Separation of Faith and the re-edited version of Cinnamon are released. And this “offshoot” is something for everyone chasing the dream to consider. Successful authors are frequently found on the speaker’s/lecture circuit where they supplement their income, often to the tune of large numbers.
Here are a few links to whet your whistle on this subject:
Once we have a book, that’s only the beginning, if we want to push this job to the furthest limits. But linking back to the first section of this post, prioritization remains a critical task. And the very first priority for all of us is to create the highest quality book possible, even if that process takes a little longer than planned.
- Blog Hits: 930 a few minutes ago (last update–847)
- Website Hits: 35,154 (last update–35,088)
- Amazon Ranking (Cinnamon): 2,733,795 (last update–2,523,108) This one should start getting fun to track in a few months … [she said, with fear and angst in her heart.] 🙂
See you here next time, and while tag surfing in between!