Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Finding the coherent whole in all the bits

At this stage, my manuscript looks a bit like a book but actually is a pile of disparate scenes and chapters which more or less meander along in a narrative. To a disappointing ending, because book 2 ran on into book 3 and I couldn't work out how to separate them. Now I have a whiteboard full of snags to fix, and am reading through it finding the bits that are repetitive and bits that don't connect.

Last week my agent and editor mentioned the same thing: the links between the two strands. It's disconnecting to move from a dramatic scene in the contemporary story to a scene in 1587 in Venice...unless they somehow tell the same story. So I'm linking the two strands up much more. The whiteboard would be even more helpful if I hadn't groped for the light switch the other day and erased some of the useful suggestions on it.

Book promotion is still on my mind, mostly because the concept is terrifying. I've read a book about it  (twice) and am waiting for contact from the publisher. I often reflect on the fact that in some ways I am unprepared for this journey. The Mslexia competition got me an agent, who got me a publisher... I wasn't expecting all that. I was just gearing up for a first round of submissions and rejections. I'm very grateful, I just wish the fast track came with a few more explanations! I've been informed by a number of writers that I should have been worrying about promotion months ago, and here I am, barely starting the process.

Writing the books is so much easier, but if no-one knows about them, no-one buys them, and the publishers stop buying your books. But I know authors that are fantastic at publicity and promotion who have modest sales, and a few lucky recluses that do just as well with a very low key campaign. Confusing. More research needed I think. I have a few volunteers for a project I'm working on, more about that later.

I'm still missing my moggie writing companion. His sister has taken to sitting on my lap all day, which makes typing impossible...not the same.

Cookie a.k.a Harry Wooggo


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