Archive for June, 2010

June 13, 2010

>The Waiting Game

>Everybody – at least everybody in the publishing world – knows about waiting.

For many, the worst is when they submit their queries to agents and have to wait for a response – often a rejection, but eventually (at least that’s the aim) a request for partial, full or an offer of representation.

Then comes the wait once your agent submits your MS to publishers. And, believe me, that’s can be a long wait, and something that you have no control over. It might be a week, a month or a year before you hear anything – if you hear anything at all. It’s a wait I don’t think you can ever get used to, but you have to accept that it’s just the way the business works.

But there’s another wait: the wait for feedback from those much closer. At the moment, that means waiting for the beta-readers to comment on the latest MS. Is it worse than the other waits? Probably not, but it is difficult, because this is the first time you’ll hear any comments on the viability of the work. I’m sure most writers are wracked with fear that everything they produce is garbage, and we are fragile souls, so we need (I mean, really need) that feedback.

You can’t rush it, of course. These are, in the main, people who are doing you a favour. They’re not being paid – except for being given a free book – so when they say “I’m reading something else, I’ll get to it next” or “I’m away this weekend, I’ll look at it next week” or “I had the kids last night, didn’t get a chance to read it” there’s nothing you can do except smile sweetly and mutter with as much conviction as you can muster “That’s okay, no rush” while dying slowly inside from a terminally neglected ego.

I doubt it will ever get better. When (not if, you understand) something gets published with the Marshall Buckley name on the cover, I’m sure the wait for reader feedback (and, hopefully, reviews) will be just as tortuous. I suppose this is just practice for those times.

June 7, 2010

>And We’re Done

>As in, the completion of the first draft of the current book, known as LMS (interestingly, I’m still of a mind that its working title isn’t right for it, but I haven’t come up with anything better).

I had a target of 80,000 words. I tend to lose count close to the end, so the target is a very loose thing. The book will be as long as it needs to be. That this one finished at 80,118, so close to target, was quite a shock.

Now it goes to edit and review. I’ve written before about my process for this as it’s a little unothodox and probably much quicker than for most. Because the book is reviewed and corrected chapter by chapter as its written, there isn’t a massive rewrite about to take place.

Unless, of course, my other beta readers find massive holes or (perish the thought) think it simply isn’t very good.

Tonight will be a quick run through using Word’s spelling and grammar checker, then off it goes to beta readers (2 electronically, one will receive a printed, bound copy which I’ll put together tomorrow). I won’t look at it again unless I receive corrections by email. Once they’ve all finished, sent corrections and any comments, I’ll sit down and read it through for the first time, making any more corrections along the way.

Assuming all is well, it will be sent to our agent before the end of the month – that’s about 3 weeks to go from first draft to final. Not bad, eh?

The biggest question now, of course, is ‘What next?”

June 3, 2010

>Just popped by…

>…to say I’m still here, working hard on ‘LMS’ which, if you look at the progress bar on the right, is shockingly close to completion.

It’s been a bit of a struggle this one: started off well, lots of ideas, raced through the first half and then some. Then it all started to fall apart. Well, not exactly. I just got a bit bogged down, and couldn’t quite see the road ahead. This happened for a while on the last book (BROKEN) too, so I wasn’t too concerned, but it is irritating.

There are times when you wonder how something you enjoy so much can make you feel so fed up.

And then comes the moment where you see where it needs to go, like a little ray of light pointing the way, and all is forgiven.

So, it’s nearly there. I’m writing the crucial, final scenes right now, and then all that’s left is the ending. Both of them.

Yes. Two endings, but only one will make the final draft. I’m just not sure which one, yet.