Sunday, 22 November 2015

Brief status report

A nice lady (Amorina Rose and the world of writing with help from friends) was kind enough to enquire if everything was okay, since I'd gone quiet on this blog. And since I'd publicly declared my intention of publishing in mid-November, I needed to 'fess up and admit that I'd slipped yet another deadline. :-(

So, yes, everything is going very well, in fact. I have a few blog articles I need to write (soon), but my absolute top priority now is getting my book ready for publishing. And that's what I've been doing, and why I haven't blogged for a while. (Strewth: for three weeks!)

In some ways, I've found this round of editing and revising to be harder than the last one. That surprised me. I thought it couldn't very well be more challenging than inventing a major new plot element that fit seamlessly while turning the 1st half of the story into a properly-satisfying novel in its own right - and then writing the 60k words to Make It So. Right?

But Dave at thEditors did another amazing job of critiquing the new version of the 1st-half of the story, now a book-in-itself. Once again, at every level. Which meant I needed not just a bunch of new scenes (about 30k wds, probably more than Dave intended), and having to come to grips with cutting a lot (about 18k wds, probably less than Dave intended!), too; but also addressing I guess somewhere between 1,000 and 3,000 line-comments in the MS itself. Covering the range from "dead easy, a few seconds work", to "Hmm, yeah... several hours later...". Along with some major shuffling of scenes and even chapters, which left me in a tangled mess at one point, that took a whole day to straighten out.

From which I've come to suspect that each external-edit will be unique, and bring its own unique challenges. But I'm going to take that as a sign that I'm learning, actually: that I'm finding new mistakes to make, and beginning to see things that were invisible to me before - with Dave's help. (The new things, that is: not the mistakes!)

So I've taken forty minutes to post this quick update. I've addressed all Dave's comments, as best I can, though there are now a bunch of return questions for him. And I'm about 25% of the way through my first polish of all the new (first draft) scenes and snippets I've added. Then will come a day or two of proofreading/polishing, then I'll see what Dave thinks about my remaining questions.

While doing that (and reporting bugs in LibreOffice: none catastrophic), and getting the new (final) cover from Mirella (yay!), and changing my author name from "Luke J. Kendall" to "L. J. Kendall", I realised I couldn't meet my mid-November deadline. But when I sat down and roughly scheduled the next few weeks, I saw that if I aimed to publish now on the anniversary of my wife's death last year, the 11th of December, that would be nicely fitting - as well as giving me a couple of extra days just-in-case.

So that's the new plan, and I really, really don't want to miss that one. But I have a good feeling about this deadline.

Oh, and in the end, despite the more fiery cover with the more vicious dog being better artistically and probably a better choice from the marketing viewpoint, in the end I chose the truer cover which better reflects the story. After all, since I'm self-publishing, I can hardly claim "Sorry, guv'nor. That's the Marketing Department: nothing to do with me, guv'nor!"

Here they are - front:

Grr, Blogger bug? What about if I insert that in a smaller size?...

Okay, no go. How about if I upload it directly...?

and back:

Now: back to work!