Sunday, July 19, 2009

Starting the the Middle

I have created this blog in order to chronicle the journey from passionate writer to published author. I should have begun this months ago, hence the name of the article.

My New Year's Resolution was to write a novel. I know, sounds cheesy, and presumptuous. But on several "goal" lists I created over the years, "publishing a book" was always on the list. So this year, I decided, "by golly" I was going to do it.

My journey began with characters. I spent several days dreaming up who was going to be in this novel, and trying to make them as real as possible. Once I had my characters, the next step was a plot...much easier said than done!

As has often been the case with my writing (always short stories until now), the actual writing comes from a "scene" that forms in my imagination. In this case, a snow storm. The snow storm had nothing to do with the plot of the story, but was a wonderful way to introduce the characters, and begin with a "bang". After that initial scene, it took several days to decide where my story was going from there.

Not wanting to give EVERYTHING away, I will let you read the book (shameless plug). Fastforward several weeks. I felt I had a pretty good manuscript. It had great characters, an intriguing plot, several twists, suspense, and romance. It was 48,000 words. I began to research different publishing companies' submission guidelines and discovered, that my "pretty good manuscript" was way too short!

So I stepped back, cut the ending, added a whole new dimension, and another 50,000 words.

I also found out that my protagonist was in the wrong agency to be working overseas...but I REALLY didn't want him to be CIA, although for about three weeks he was. I did some further investigation and found a loophole. FBI agents do work overseas, with international organizations. They simply don't have any jurisdiction, meaning they couldn't make an arrest. I could live with that. My hero was once again with the FBI.

I was ready to submit my manuscript. Through online searching, I discovered Tate Publishing. To make a long, and boring story short, by March, I had signed with them and was on the way to becoming a published author!

In the meantime I was so excited, I began work on the second novel, "Third Time Around." It was "finished" by the end of May.

In June, "Second Chance" began the editing process. It spent a month with a lady who scoured it for grammatical and syntactical errors. After that it was sent to "conceptual editing". After another month I received my manuscript back with my editor's comments. We are still in the middle of the back and forth process. It is scheduled to be concluded by August 15th. In the meantime, I have worked with a cover designer, and we should have the final cover approved by the end of July.

As I said before, I have started in the middle. From here, however, I hope to keep you up to date with shorter articles, letting you know step-by-step how this process is working. I hope you will walk with me, and enjoy the story as much as I have!

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