Wednesday, September 12, 2007

27,000 and going

I'm not sure if there's a right way to write a book, but I'm pretty certain I'm not going about the right way. Then again, I have 27,000 words written essentially in a little more than two weeks, which isn't too bad at all. As to whether or not they're 27,000 well written, intelligent and captivating words, I'm not sure. Probably not, at this point. But that's why I keep reminding myself we have second drafts. And third drafts. And quite possibly drafts into the double digits.

The key is to keep writing. Which is what I'm doing. I even took a day to stop writing and start to plot out where I'm going. The first 20,000 or so words were pretty easy. But now I'm getting into the guts of the thing it helps to have a better plan. And oddly enough, I think I do.

I'm also doing the slightly weird thing of writing scenes out of sequence. There have been things I've thought of that I thought were funny and rather than wait until I get to that part of the book, I figured I should write them now rather than run the risk of forgetting about it.

Book writing also produces other unexpected side effects. I actually have a character talking in my head now, annoyed when it's been too long since I've written anything about her. I had a bizarre rush when I finally figured out how two of the main characters were going to meet. Cathy just thought I was insane. It's strange how much time is spent trying to work things out, even when I'm not in front of the computer. Fortunately, Cathy's been understanding of my more scatterbrained behaviour in recent weeks. "You're writing the book in your head again, aren't you?" has been said more than once.

So far only one person has seen what I've written and it's not Cathy, but another friend. And she's been a tremendous help. Along with pestering me for more, she's offered up both corrections and suggestions that have been useful. And hell, I'm enjoying myself, so what's the harm.

So what's the plan with this thing? Well, in my dreamworld, I'll have the book finished by the end of November. I figure it will be between 100,000-125,000 words. I'll completely ignore it until I come back from vacation in January. Then I'll print it off and gasp in horror at all the mistakes and faults and then begin the agonizing process of gutting the thing like a fish. I figure that'll take a month or so. Then the plan is to subject the book to several friends for feedback and commentary. Once they finish hacking it to pieces, well, then I'll see if I can find a publisher for it.

Dare to dream, I know. There are plenty of books that never get published and those that do often just fade away. But hey, I see at least two immediate benefits of getting published.

1. There's always the possibility the book becomes wildly successful and I can become a full-time author. Staying home and writing all day and getting paid for it is awfully appealing.
2. I would never have to listen to another person tell me "You should write a book." I can just take it out and show them.

The peace and quiet would be totally worth it.

2 comments:

colette said...

Not only is that what first, second ad infinitum drafts for, that's what _editors_ are for.

And you need an agent. Many publishers will not accept unsolicited MSS sent their way without one for fear of being sued. (Now, if you're heading of to Breakwater or Creative for possible publication, then that's a different story.)

towniebastard said...

Oh, I know I'll need an agent if I decide to submit the book to a major publisher. I think I'll evaluate the "final" product and see how I feel. In all probability I'll try a few agents. If I don't like how things are going, then I'll probably try one of the NL publishers.

For that matter, Amazon in the US is running this interesting self-publishing venture - http://www.createspace.com - that's worth a closer look.

God, Amazon.ca sucks in comparison to the US.

I figure if this book ever sees the light of day, it'll be sometime in 2009.

Of course, I'll be needing a good lawyer to review any contracts. Hmmmm, I wonder where I could find one...