I promised readers this blog post, so here it is!
I recently finished an editing round of my new novel – The Time of The Stripes. It has now gone to beta readers, which is exciting because it means that I’ve reached, what I call, the 2nd milestone in the creation of a novel.
The first milestone is finishing that first draft, which I believe is the hardest part. Once the first draft is done, you need to let the novel sit for a while. You need to create some distance between you and it, so that when you return to it, you do so with fresh eyes. I finished the first draft earlier this year, then I let the book sit there for for a couple of months while I worked on edits for Aurora: Meridian and took a trip overseas. When I came back to The Time of The Stripes to start the editing, I had had a sufficient break from the story that I was able to dive in again with renewed vigor.
I worked my way through the book probably about three times, adding scenes (and a new character POV), cutting text, fixing text, and even changing one angle of the story. After working it on for a while, I reached the point where a) I needed a break from the story again, and b) I believed that I had taken it as far as I could on my own, and I was at the point where I needed feedback from ‘outside eyes’. In part, I also needed that beta reader feedback because like any writer I often doubt my work. From time to time I need that confirmation from outsiders that I’m on the right track. I mean, I feel like I’m on the right track and get excited when I read my stories, but sometimes you just need that validation that it’s not just you who is excited by the book. After all, that is why I write – to entertain people and hope that I make them as excited about my story and characters as I feel, so if my betas aren’t excited, then I have a problem! Alas, it is now out there with them and I nervously await the feedback to see if this book resonates with them as much as it does me.
Once I receive their feedback, I’ll go into another editing round to try and fix anything they may have raised. After this editing round is complete, hopefully it is then good enough to be of submittable standard to an agent. And that, my friends, will be the 3rd milestone. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet…
Because it takes so much effort, it’s important to celebrate the milestones as they hit, to appreciate how far you’ve come. And so, after reaching the first milestone – the completed first draft – I unveiled the title of my novel (I have a thing where I won’t reveal the title before the first draft is complete). And now to celebrate the second milestone – submitting it to my beta readers, I shall now unveil the tagline I have given it. So without further ado, here it is:
They survived the alien visitation, but can they survive each other . . .
So, there you have it, folks. Slowly but surely this book is coming to life, and hopefully it will find its way to you soon.
Wish me luck…