Still moving forward on The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes to the extent I’ve now sent the manuscript to a real editor. If you don’t write books you may wonder why I’m claiming this as a great milestone:-) If you do, you’ll know we authors are never sure enough about what we’ve written to send it out to anyone, let alone an actually editor. I’m expecting the edited manuscript back for final corrections around the 14th.
After I make the final corrections or rewrites, the book will go for final proofreading, and final corrections on my part, before publication in early to mid-May. For those of you keeping track, this is pretty well on the schedule I set earlier in the year. If it happens, it will be a modern miracle!
After this book, I’m taking a rest from young adult science fiction and trying my hand at a cozy mystery. I’m hoping it will be a kind of vacation. Only time will tell:-) Meanwhile, for those of you who haven’t already, there’s still time to read books 1 -3, which you can buy at my Amazon Author Page.
Thanks to the virus keeping us all indoors, I’ve had plenty of time for editing. (For those of you writing a first book, don’t let my grumpiness about editing put you off.) I’ve now gone through the book twice and it’s almost there. It just isn’t dramatic enough at the high points yet. Or is that just me being too close to the story to see? The life of an author is one of eternal self-doubt, as you can see from this weekly blog.
The next few days will see final re-writes and then off to a real editor; i.e. someone who does this stuff for a living. (I can’t imagine who would want to!) That takes about three weeks, there are two types of editing going on in that time, and then the manuscript goes to the formatter. The formatter creates the three different electronic files needed for Amazon (Kindle), the opposition (Nook, Kobo, etc), and also for the paperback copy. That’s another 1 – 2 weeks. Then I publish. Those of you who are schedulers will see that means a publishing date somewhere in mid-May, if all goes well. Not quite per my 2020 Business Plan but close enough.
Meanwhile, while you wait, don’t forget to visit my Amazon Author Page for the books I already have published.
After a brief warm spell that may have been spring, only time will tell, we’re back to freezing here in Canada’s sunny south. Zero degrees C is our ‘high’ today with 100% chance of snow overnight. Having just returned from a walk in the woods with my trusty camera, I can verify the lack of heat. I’ve been warmer on the same walk in January before sunrise. We are not amused.
My lack of amusement extends also to the editing of book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes, which is not reaching the summery heights of being complete. Throughout the past week of consistent reading and revising, I’ve found many gaps and duplications. I’m not sure I even wrote this book! Today, however, I hope to find the work I did yesterday has solved the last problem and it will be smooth reading to the end — I hope.
One bonus of all this editing is, I haven’t had to wonder what I can do while self-isolating myself from the rest of mankind. Authors are generally self-isolated most of the time anyhow and, for me, the past week has been another successful example of that. Maybe the many problems of book four are an example of the amazing workings of fate. I’ll choose to think so. That way I won’t throw the laptop and book out of the window, which is what I’ve wanted to do all week. Meanwhile, please visit my Amazon Author Page for the books I have actually written and published. Book 4 will join them there soon.
I finished my first draft of The Modest Proposal Institute, Book 4: War of the Institutes with a flourish during the week. It was exciting. Now, however, I’m in the editing phase. Preparing a second draft that could go to an actual editor. Writing may be painful but editing is numbing. I’m beginning to agree with all those writers down the centuries who’ve commented along those lines. Dr. Johnson, for example, said ‘No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.’ I’m sure he started out writing for pleasure, like all of us, and then finding it difficult work.
For me, doing a series is what’s changing my outlook to one along the lines of Dr. Johnson. Series are harder than standalone books, as I’ve discovered. If you’re reading this and just setting out on your author career, here’s my advice — single books first, then a series, if you must.
The good news is, of course, I’m now editing the first draft; a point in time I had doubts about ever reaching only a few weeks ago. For those of you saying to yourselves, ‘I wish he’d stop talking and just finish the book’, it means I’m closing in on that great event. The month of May is still looking good for a publishing day. Meanwhile, as always, checkout my Amazon Author Page for one of my other fine books:-)
Our local groundhog guessed correctly this year on Groundhog Day. We do seem to be having an early spring or it could be I’m just in a sunny mood because I’m still writing lots of words. I’m hoping it’s both.
The Modest Proposal Institute book 4: War of the Institutes is progressing like a spring lamb — in leaps and bounds. At least so far as words are concerned. Whether there’s a story there when I run out of words or if it’s a different story to the one I was supposed to be telling, only the editing will show. My plan was to have this book published by the end of April and, in theory, that’s still possible. So those of you waiting for this latest instalment, keep primed and ready to read.
Meanwhile, as always, check out my existing books on my Amazon Author Page for a book to tide you over until the big day arrives.
After my long period of doubt and despair some months ago, I’m now practically flying on Book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute, tentatively titled War of the Institutes. Part of the reason for my newly found energy is that my deadline is approaching, which is always a motivator for me. The other major part of my renewed optimism is my re-planning of two weeks ago. Resetting the story in my mind, and focusing on the high points of the story, has boosted my writing production enormously. That’s a tip for all you authors out there who are struggling — step back, revisit the story plan and then focus on the high points.
Having said all that, here’s hoping it continues to work for me:-) Meanwhile, don’t forget, you can find all my books to date on my Amazon Author Page.
One of the many benefits of self-publishing is that, if a reader spots a problem or mistake, the author can fix it relatively quickly and easily. For example, in my book of my aunt’s wartime diary, Annie’s War, I’d missed a cousin off our Family Tree. This wasn’t a problem for the diary but it was likely to create some family tension. The perils of non-fiction are many and varied!
The Family Tree has been fixed, the new ‘tree’ inserted into the book file, and the file uploaded into Amazon. They give everything the once-over and, 72 hours later, the problem is solved. If I had a Publisher, that would have taken months or more.
Meanwhile, writing of The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes continues at a reasonable pace. For me, that’s about a thousand words a day. Not a great pace but respectable, even though I know many of the thousand will be gone by the end. As you wait for my next book, maybe you are searching for something to read on these cold winter days. If so, you’ll find Annie’s War and the others at my Amazon Author Page.
Last week, I suggested I’d passed the point in writing The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes where I was treading water and was now in the forging ahead part of the process. This week, I find a lot of my earlier writing doesn’t fit with the forging ahead bit and I’m re-writing as much as I’m writing. You who are writing novels will I’m sure recognize the dilemma. Was the earlier writing ‘right’ and the later ‘wrong’, in which case I’m undoing good work that will some day soon have to be re-written back to where it was and the present work then re-written to match the ‘old’ work. Maybe I should become a useful member of society instead — a plumber perhaps.
Then there’s the plot plan, which now doesn’t align with either the new or old writing. I want to change that plan because I no longer like it but that means even more thinking. Maybe I shouldn’t aim for doing something useful, maybe decorative is more my forte — or maybe not.
Fortunately, I got a break from all that artistic anguish. I needed to make some simple corrections to the Jackson Family Tree in my book Annie’s War and that has given me something simpler to think about and do. I like simple. So this week, because it is newly updated, I’m recommending you all visit my Amazon Author Page and buy Annie’s War: A WW2 Nurse’s Diary.
This week’s update on my progress toward finishing The Modest Proposal Institute: War of the Institutes, which is book 4 of the series, is about arriving at the place I always reach when writing. I’m now writing lots of words — but the story is getting lost in them. It happens with every book. Here’s a summary of my writing ‘method’:
- Develop the plot and events that come from it
- Begin writing and write quickly up to about 20% of the book
- Come to a complete halt — revisit plot, plan, events, and decide the whole thing isn’t worth it
- Struggle on making absolutely no progress
- Revisit revisit plot, plan, events, and see a way to finish it
- Write quickly until I have more than enough words for two books but haven’t actually finished the one I’m writing because the story is lost in all that mountain of words
- Decide the whole thing isn’t worth the trouble
- Edit, edit and edit to get back to the word count
- Write the story back into the words and send it to the editor really quickly before I change my mind again
I’m lost in stage 6 at this moment and still hoping stages 7 – 9 will work out as they have always done in the past. For those of you writing your own novel, I hope this information will help you through the dark days ahead. For those of you just considering writing a novel, be warned! Or alternatively, read a book instead. One of mine perhaps, which you can find at my Amazon Author Page.
I thought the past week had been a good one for Book 4 of The Modest Proposal Institute with lots of words written. (How many will survive editing is another matter:-) Then I sat in on a writers’ webinar to listen to authors who regularly do 2-3 times as many words as I do each day. Suddenly, my good week becomes a ‘good’ week. Where I was dreaming of receiving the world’s fastest writer prize, I now think I may be in the running for world’s slowest. Who says education and learning is always good; it can be totally demoralizing.
Fortunately, what I lack in speed I make up for in stamina and The Modest Proposal Institute: The War of the Institutes does march on — just at a very average speed. My plan for book 4 is to have it to the editor by late February and that may still be possible, provided my procrastination doesn’t get any worse. Meanwhile, my slow progress means you still have time to be ready for book 4 by reading books 1 – 3, which can be found at my Amazon Author Page.