I’m still working on my novel, and I’ve recently clocked it up to 36,000 words. It’s looking pretty likely to be my second novel to see publication, but the first — which I sent off to my publisher not too long ago and hope to be able to discuss in the near future — is a TV tie-in written to a brief. Obviously, that’s a different animal to writing an original story.
One trick I’ve learnt that I’d like to pass on to any neophyte authors out there: if you have an ebook reader, make regular ebook copies of your draft for proofreading/editing, even if the draft is only partial. I suspect I’ll be greeted with a round of “well, duh” responses — it does seem like an obvious bit of advice, after all — yet I’ve never heard anyone make this suggestion. It really does make all the difference: when I’m looking at my draft in Word, it’s just a bunch of stuff I’ve written; but when I’m reading it on my Kindle, it’s suddenly become a book, and I can read it with the same critical eye I can read any other ebook. It becomes a lot easier to notice weak points.
On the whole, writing the book has been a pleasingly smooth experience. I’ve often heard from authors who report on a mid-novel crisis: they get halfway through and are suddenly filled with screaming doubts as to whether their book was a viable project after all. I haven’t experienced that, exactly, but I’ve had a couple of small-scale crises where I’ve taken a long look at the novel and noticed a major structural flaw.
In each case, though, I’ve simply headed down the gay bar, sat down with pencil, paper, Kindle and VK Blue, and tried to work out a solution while bathed in purple light and the soothing tones of Nicki Minaj. In each case I’ve come up with a solution — although I’ll admit that, in the most recent case, I’ve yet to actually implement the solution I have in mind. Doing so will require more inspiration, and getting more inspiration will involve more research… so I’d best get started, then.
See you all!