Friday, September 24, 2010

Novel Update

Happy Friday!

I'm really excited that fall is upon us.  I'm currently blogging from the Seattle's Best Cafe in my favorite Borders.  I'm watching the Batistas change the signs and posters to the fall specials.  Apparently, everything now comes in pumpkin. 

Of course, if you step outside, you'd think it was the middle of July.  The current temperature is eighty-one degrees.  According to my iPhone, we have another ten degrees to go before reaching the high.

Today is one of those days where I'm feeling exceptionally positive about my current work in progress.  With eighteen chapters and 63,000 words accomplished (not counting the estimated 50,000 words that have been cut and thrown into the junk file), I'm starting to believe more and more in the potential this book might have.  Sure it will need to be cleaned up.  Adjustments will need to be made.  And as much as it will pain me to do so, I imagine if I'm ever fortunate enough to work with a professional editor, I will have to cut some of my favorite parts.  It's just the way the publishing business works.

But in terms of the actual story, I feel good.  It's coming along and unfolding nicely.  And my current readers are enjoying it.  The best compliment is hearing it's entertaining.

But I'm jumping the gun a tad.  First I need to finish.  If all goes as planned, my entire third draft/first shareable draft will be completed by the time the Time Square ball reaches the ground and illuminates the 2011 sign.  From there, I will take a week long sabbatical and not look at a single word I've written.  I will then print it out, go to a very comfortable, quiet, secluded location (a location where I did NOT write any part of the book), and read it all the way through.  I'll take notes in the margins and go back and make my corrections.

Then, I will be printing ten drafts to send to my second round of "critics."  Half of them have been reading draft three as it's ready; the other half will be a fresh pair of eyes.  These ten people come from all different walks of life - parents, teachers, avid readers, high school students, etc.  I'm excited to bring these people on board.  I've selected them all for specific reasons and I value their input.  Once I receive feedback from all of them, I'll have the nightmare of sorting through their notes and figuring out what changes I need to make. 

From there, I'll host a Query Party.  By that, I mean I'm inviting a few people over to help me research agents, find as many successful sample letters as possible, and make my own query letter perfect.  We'll figure out who is the most appropriate for the piece I've created and go from there.  I also have a list of what I consider to be the most helpful blogs for anyone seeking publication.  I definitely plan on digging through these postings to find whatever tips and advice I can.

And then, the heartache will begin.  I'll start querying agents and hope for the best.  But I am absolutely prepared for the rejection letters that will come.  I just hope one day, I'll get that one magical yes.

As I've said before, the process is long, but very exciting.  When I think about what could happen, I get motivated, but also very apprehensive.  I've been talking a lot to a friend from high school, DJ Mike Ryan, who is also writing a book.  We write two entirely different genres and for entirely different audiences; however, the process is exactly the same.  It's great having someone to talk to who is going through the exact same thing I am.  And Mike has a really good handle on the business.  You should check out his page, unless you happen to be someone who is easily offended. 

So, that is my update for now.  I'm getting back to my manuscript.  I'm also in the process of preparing a series of guest bloggers to discuss the writing process and their role in my project.  More details as they unfold.

Have a great weekend, all!

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