Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Sense of Intimidation

After finishing the final draft of Book One (which is called Dancing in the Checkered Shade, by the way), I was forced by the day job to take a couple of days off. Today I started reading the first draft of the followup, most of which was written while I was on sabbatical from the day job, from January-May 2010. I haven't allowed myself to look at that draft since that time, although I've thought about it quite a bit. As I remembered it, I had done a pretty darn good job, if I do say so myself.

Well....let's say there are some pretty darn good spots mixed in with some pretty mediocre spots. One thing I noticed immediately is the amount of "telling" -- yes! After all my grumping about that writing style on this blog! Fortunately, this is a first draft and I can fix that problem. But, wow, that will take some thinking and some real writing work.  I also never completely finished the story, so I have to write the first draft of the last few chapters.

Overall, I am pleased with it as a beginning. It's really sort of funny - there are so many differences to DitCS (see, I even have an acronym!). For one thing, it was a lengthy struggle to cut DitCS down to a reasonable length; so far, this second book has 15 chapters (of probably 18) and fewer than 50,000 words. That's too short, really. I hope the conversion from "telling" to "showing" will help. I know it's going to be some work, but as one friend put it, it's "lovely" work.

To be honest, there is something else that intimidates me. The same friend asked me, "So what's next for DitCS?" Well....I don't know...... This friend has self-published two books, and she has encouraged me to do the same. That route does have some appeal, although I know I don't have the time to do the promotion needed to give the book a decent chance in the world.  And a little part of me still would like to have an agent think it's good enough to request the full manuscript to read (although the mainstream publishing world has some disadvantages, like a short window of opportunity to "make it," that don't appeal to me at all). I don't know....I don't want to be famous, and I don't want to quit my day job (at least not today!). But...it would be kind of cool to have people reading about these characters and loving them as much as I love Will and Susanna, Kit and Nat, Laura and Almanzo, Hannah and Tice.....

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