Fourth Time’s a Charm

I’ve finally finished my debut novel and I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished. But it’s involved far more work than I would have ever imagined.

The delay in getting it into production has been a mixture of work related stress, lack of time to work on it, plus my many doubts about my ability. You see, this isn’t my first novel. Depending on how you count it, it’s actually my fourth (or maybe three-and-a-half’th!) So, what happened to the others?

For that, we’ll have to go back to the beginning.

I’ve always wanted to write stories, ever since I was in school devouring every book I could get my hands on. I’d take every possible opportunity to turn class assignments into an opportunity to write a story. This was frowned upon by my teachers and I certainly wasn’t encouraged in my “literary” efforts–quite the opposite in fact.

So I put the idea away and tried to do other “normal” things though it was always latent. I was part of an early games company start-up and as well as programming, 3D, and the other duties (we did everything in those days!), I was always the one writing backstory, creating the world environments and fictional histories.

Jump forward a few years and I found myself commuting to work by train. This journey was supposed to take around forty-five minutes but in reality was usually closer to double that. So that was two or three hours a day of mind-numbing boredom. Something had to be done.

I could have put in extra work for my job, but as I wouldn’t get paid for that or receive any other benefit, that wasn’t going to happen. (If I could have done job work and had a shorter day because of it, I’d have happily taken that option.) So, after some thought, I decided I would try my hand at writing.

I had no real plans at this point as to Continue reading “Fourth Time’s a Charm”

Is it me, or is there a (second) draft in here?

I don’t often talk about my writing process, mostly because it’s probably not very interesting to most people. Last week was a bit of a milestone week for me though, so here goes.

Despite having three separate hospital visits that did their best to play havoc with my writing schedule, I still hit my weekly targets and as part of that I completed the second draft of my novel codenamed MOE.

I have to admit this draft was something of a self-imposed labor. After I reviewed the completed first draft, I realized that there were some serious issues with it. The problem was that the first draft had come together in fits and starts over a very extended time frame (I refuse to say how long, it’s too embarrassing!). During this time i was juggling writing with regular employment , dealing with some major stress issues as well as some personal problems (all now happily resolved). As a result I wasn’t very focused and often struggled to get any writing done and often seemed to go two steps backwards for every one forward.

So major surgery was definitely needed. Usually when I finish something, I want to get it straight into my wife’s hands to get overall feedback from my first reader. This time there was no way I was doing that before I had chance to fix the big problems in the story. So Hil has been waiting (im)patiently for quite a while.

The process of redrafting has taken several months and  has entailed reworking several sections extensively and the addition of whole new sections and characters. Of curse, once you start adding new sections there are consequences in other parts of the story. These areas then  need reworking too and it snowballs until you’re almost rewriting everything to some extent.

Now Hil finally gets the chance to read it and the more general editing process can begin. I feel the story is much better for the time I’ve put in though and I think (hope!) it will be relatively straightforward moving on from here.

While the editing process continues I now get the fun of creating cover graphics, book trailers, ads and all the rest of the myriad tasks that go into launching a book as an indie author. Not to mention, completing the sequel, of course!

One thing is certain, there’s never a dull moment!

And talking of graphics, here’s a teaser of some of what’s to come, courtesy of “Popular Innovation”. 🙂

Popular Innovation1