I’ve Written A Book. Now What?

Yesterday I started a hard copy edit of my debut novel ‘The Kirkwood Scott Chronicles – Part One – Skelly’s Square.’ Armed with my trusty red pen, I attacked the manuscript with gusto, and more than a little trepidation. What if the printer version revealed a myriad of mistakes which I had failed to detect on the laptop screen? I gritted my teeth and resigned myself to the task at hand. What would be, would be.

Fifty pages later, and I’m relieved to report the edit was a relatively pain free exercise. No major, intrusive surgery was required and Kirkwood survived, with nothing more than a few flesh wounds. These primarily relate to my obsession with the words ‘that’ and ‘had’ which had (oops) been pointed out to me by my long suffering and incredibly tactful beta readers. Removing them all will probably reduce the word count by 20,000 but it’s a small price to pay.

it’s weird holding an actual hard copy of the book in my hands. Before, as I laboured over it on the laptop screen, it was as if it wasn’t quite real, rather a figment of an over active imagination. But now it’s actually there, staring me in the face. It’s looking me up and down, before enquiring ‘Well I’m here now. What are you going to do with me?’ A question I’m not quite sure how to answer.

When do you stop editing a book? When do you set down the red pen, lean back and think ‘That’s me, I’m done? When does the moment come when you are brave enough to hit the submit button and wave goodbye to your pride and joy? Exposing it to the ravenous bear pit that is the world of literary agents and publishers? Can’t I hold onto my new born baby for just a little longer?

The answer is, of course, a resounding no. Writing a book and then not endeavouring to publish it is akin to buying a sports car and keeping it locked in your garage, for fear that it might get a scratch. The hard work is done, or at least most of it is. Now is the exciting time. Scary, yes, but ultimately exciting. The desire to know if it’s any good, outweighs the trepidation and worry which threaten to paralyse the aspiring author.

So, as the red pen cuts a swathe through the bundle of papers on my lap, I’m already thinking ahead to query letters and submission e-mails. I’ve been researching agents who might be interested in KSC and publishers who focus on YA/Urban Fantasy genres. To find that one person who falls in love with the adventures of Kirkwood Scott, Meredith Starc and Harley Davidson; who is entranced by the evil machinations of Colonel Augustus Skelly and the Forsaken.

it’s a hard old slog, but I’m seeing progress with each passing week. With that, comes confidence; confidence that this book with see the light of day in some format, be that via the publishing or self-publishing routes. The blog is but the tip of my personal writing iceberg. I just hope one day, the book I have laboured over will be revealed to you all. It’s frustrating writing about it every week when all I want to do is post the manuscript and shout ‘There it is. Tell me what you think.’

I hope that day is not far around the corner. The plan was always to start the book in 2017, finish it in 2018 and publish in 2019. So far, I’m on track with that schedule. I will keep chipping away, when and where I can, still determined this germ of an idea will see the light of day. Now I’m going to sign off and get scribbling with the red pain again. This book won’t write itself, you know.

Where are you on your writing journey?

31 thoughts on “I’ve Written A Book. Now What?

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  1. Great job! Skelly’s Square needs to be printed more and more!

    And the publisher will send it through edits as well. My college English teacher always told us we were ‘releasing’ our writings; that they were never ‘done.’

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your descriptive words. You inspire me to keep going. I too will write publish and it will be surgery for me. I would definitely say that I birthed my baby at 53 but hopefully and prayerfully at 52.

    Like

  3. I’m in the editing phase myself with a temporary hold place due to the needs of so many of my analog relationships. I’ve found myself babysitting, tutoring, praying with others, counselling, teenager-ing, losing a vehicle to an auto accident, studying the Word with, and even checking on an elderly man lately. So… the editing phase may take a while, but the book is written, three proposals are sent, and the sequel plus an all new book and two non-fiction ideas are bouncing around in my aging skull.

    So basically, I made an audacious prayer to God that He will allow me to earn a living by writing so I can help my husband and not go crazy with all the ideas which are trying to get out… We’ll see what He answers. I’m just glad I can trust Him to know what’s best for me!

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  4. I am just behind you. I am in the fourth draft of my book. The last one before I send it to an editor. My plan is to send off to him or her and dive into the second book that is to follow the first. I want to keep the writing momentum going. I want to see Jack sweat and tremble in fear as he realizes each new problem that he has to face. And maybe I will catch up on my reading a little too. Keep going and get that book to print. I want to read it too.

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