After endless hours, I was finally able to complete the second edit, a rather involved and intense rewrite, for manuscript #3, also known as, Of Stars and Secrets. There was a great push to complete this phase of the process, self-induced of course, since I’m a self-published author. Very few celebratory words were needed, or uttered, because although I’m finished with this edit, the manuscript isn’t completely ready for the presses. In a previous blog, I mentioned the steps I move through as I write a piece and then prepare it for the printers, and the readers. I had hoped to complete this edit much sooner, and then there was the realization that I needed to do so much editing on word choice and sentence structure that it has pushed me way past my self-proclaimed deadline. Of course, it didn’t help that as I was rewriting the pages, the length of the manuscript increased, so it seemed as if I was chasing a moving finish line!
The thought did occur to me that since I outsource for nearly everything else, why not find an editor? Finances is one reason. The second is that an editor cannot do what I have done. If they did, then their name should be on the cover instead of mine. And then, what if, like me, they get caught up in the plot and forget that they’re supposed to be checking for all the errors, not just the blatant ones like a missed punctuation?! With each reread, I find myself creating a more intimate relationship with the characters, setting, and plot. I once believed that I would not need to spend as much time editing this manuscript because it is Science Fiction, and really, who is going to question my choice of planets or descriptions of starships? However, what I’ve found is that there are still all the strings to tie up at the end, or as much as I can since this story has a sequel, which, I’m finding, has its own complications. Not only do I need to ensure that Of Stars and Secrets can stand alone, but it also needs to blend with Of Prophecies and Promises, the second part (or maybe it’s a continuation?) of the story.
Some people have suggested that it’s alright if I don’t get this one in print ASAP. They tell me the big name authors only produce one book a year, if that, and that the copies fly off the shelves because everyone can’t wait for their next story. That may work for someone like Tom Clancy or Mary Higgins Clark, but for someone like me, if I wait too long to get the next story into my readers’ hands, I’m concerned I’ll lose my following. And, like any marketer (I’m not really, but forced to fill the role-one of the many tasks of a self-published author) I want to have a new product available for the holiday season. So, I’m back at the computer, predicting that I’ll have to turn to the thesaurus and dictionary less, and that this edit will go much quicker without so much to rewrite.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that my creativity has latched onto music and song lyrics as a way to find some outlet. I’ve also written one poem. The other stories in my mind have not gone away, I’ve just taken a staunch stance on refusing to give them the stage. But they’ve peeked around the closed door anyway. Though I explain to people who ask, how difficult it is to write a story and at the same time edit another one, I’m beginning to think that my muse has a different opinion. For something a little different in this post, I thought I’d pose the question to those of you who read my blog regularly. I’ve listed below the stories clamoring the loudest for my attention, as well as a new project. I invite you to visit my web site and send me an email vote for what you’d like to see released in the near future. The sequel for #3 is already written, so those of you thinking that you’ll have to wait a really long time to finish the story started in Of Stars and Secrets, relax. Of Prophecies and Promises will be released in spring 2010. But since the poking of my creativity is becoming uncomfortable, I’ll open it up for a reader vote.
1) *new project idea*: collection of poems related to my transformation within my yoga teacher training
2) novel: wild horses in Colorado, two ranches, murder, blackmail, attorney and estranged daughter
3) first of a trilogy: semi-science fiction, based after 2050 and major cities across the globe are destroyed; factions arise; restructuring of society (of course this, like all my stories, would fall under the genre of Romance)
4) novel: game preserve in Wyoming, father killed, daughter investigates, FBI is involved, she attempts to change preserve from guns to cameras
5) novel: somewhat historical: woman is on a slave ship en route to Tasmania and a debtors prison from India, is bought at auction to be a governess, wants to discover what happened with her father, an aide to a religious leader in India
If you’d like to cast your vote, I’ll have the polls open the entire month of November. Just go to my web site www.myjoyenterprises.com and click on the ‘books’ button, then ‘contact us’ on the blue bar on the top of the book’s page. I look forward to reading your votes! I’ll publish the result in my first blog for December. Later this week, I’ll have the homeless woman’s poem posted on my site as well.