the next step

Good afternoon,

And it certainly is a good afternoon here. Howling wind, driving rain and changed temperatures. No, really, the temperature has dropped a huge amount. I opened the door to the deck when the sun momentarily popped its head through the clouds and quickly shut it again. Brrr…race to the wardrobe…uh.oh!…haven’t unpacked the winter woollens yet. NOTE TO SELF…change wardrobe from summer to autumn/winter.

So, I’m being procrastinative at the moment although in my defence I have just written the second draft of a short story. But then again, that’s not really a defence is it because it confirms my procrastination. So what is the issue then? Well no issue really it’s just that I have been away from my novel for a little while attending to other commitments and I find myself a little nervous about making a start on the next draft.

Drum Rollll….I am about the start the third draft. So, I have now opened the file and the document and done a file save as into a new file…well that is a start isn’t it.

Wait…I have just read the Prologue…no changes there at this stage…and that leaves me with my cursor set on the first word in Chapter One. Whew…no changes to the first paragraph…but…oops…there are a few changes needed in the story from now. But that’s okay…stage fright has been navigated and next week will bring lots of connection with the act of story telling!!!

I hope all is well in your world. If you have experienced similar moments…let me know:)

Cheers

Olga

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13 thoughts on “the next step

      • The setting sounds intriguing. I have written a (so far) seven volume series of Historical Fiction books. The series contains some fantasy elements, but the basis of the story is rooted in fact. My research centered around the female experience and changing labor conditions in the Lowlands of Scotland at the end of the 19th Century, which in the first book prompted the emigration of the protagonist and her sister from their home on the Firth of Forth. I enjoy reading both the real history of women in this time period (through the ’50s) and Historical Fiction featuring women as central figures. I don’t know what your plans for publishing are, but if you ever need another objective opinion on your novel, consider me.

        Sincerely,
        T. A. Peters

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  1. Dear TA Peters
    Thank you for the information about your books and they certainly do sound interesting. I love the 50s and am enjoying sitting down to let the characters tell me what to say:) I have’nt made any firm plans about publishing yet but I would be grateful for a few hints about the highs and lows. Do you have a blog?
    cheers
    Olga

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  2. Olga-

    I have no idea what your level of knowledge is in regards to the publishing world; here are some general thoughts based upon my experience and the experience of others personally known to me:
    It depends on so many factors and what sort of connections you have and what sort of publishing setup your university has. If you are being awarded a PHD and your university has its own press, then you might do well to publish with them since you have an obvious tie-in as a scholar of the exact subject matter you have written a novel about, and a university press carries some amount of prestige in and of itself. On the other hand, for the best possible exposure, if you have connections to a big publishing house or a literary agent then you should go that route so long as you don’t mind a committee of editors “fixing” your manuscript, for which they will then most likely own the copyright. If those aren’t options, you can always publish independently. It is very easy and so long as you don’t mind investing some time it can be as cheap as free to do. The obvious problem is that you either have to do all of the marketing yourself or pay someone to do it. I think the bottom line is a question: where are you now and where do you want to go with the novel? What are you planning to do in life in the future? You say that you are: “enjoying sitting down to let the characters tell me what to say.” That is excellent! Obviously you enjoy writing, but if you are like me, you won’t enjoy all of the efforts required to get your book out there after the fact if you don’t have a team to do it for you. Ultimately if you do find yourself relegated to the world of Indie Publishing, the highs will likely consist of individuals reading your novel and telling you one on one that they found value in it. But who knows? Free social networking might get the word out and you might have readers in the thousands. The convenient thing about Indie Publishing is that you can let a service like Amazon take care of all of your sales and shipping, and whereas an author writing for a big publishing house might make one dollar per book sold in royalties, with Indie Publishing you can set your own prices and make how ever much you think is reasonable per copy sold of a book you still hold the copyright to.
    I hope this has been helpful in some regard. If you have specific questions, feel free to ask. I’m always happy to help out another author in any way that I can.
    Oh, and I don’t have a blog. I’ve written guest blogs before, but there’s never enough time for writing books, let alone keeping up with a blog.

    -TAP

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  3. Dear TAP
    Thank you for your response:):)
    I have a little knowledge about publishing and here in Australia options can be limited. I will have to make it my business to find out more but also I have to deal with thinking about the book as a ‘product’ once it is complete. I am at the third draft stage and I am aiming to finish it by this time next year although I have to also complete an exegesis as part of the PhD so will have to make sure I am on track with that. For me, it is about having quality texts…but I would like to be published as well. Maybe I want to much…time will tell. The uni does not its own publishing house and I spoke to a couple of agents a few years ago and was told that it is very hard to get work taken on unless you know someone, and almost impossible to have work taken off the slush pile at a publishers:). That’s okay…for now..but on the really positive side, I have also met an author very recently who is about to self-publish her second book and she is very happy, although she is hoping that she will eventually be picked up by a major publisher. So, I am not looking at the publishing side as a negative process I have to go through but rather part of the overall job…and I hope to make it an enjoyable challenge. I am a a mature age student and so lucky to be able to at last do what I want to do. Once this book is finsihed I have another research project I am looking forward to starting…again with a book at the end of it. So, once again, thank you for taking the time to respond with lots of information. It is wonderful to hear from you:):)
    Olga

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  4. Olga-

    It is my pleasure, absolutely!

    Based upon your writings, it is clear to me that you have a “good head upon your shoulders” and are realistic in your expectations. I have worked with some writers in recent months, a few of which have had unlikely dreams of literary agents drooling over their manuscripts on the one hand and magical rises to international fame through self-publishing on the other. If it is your goal to be traditionally published by a big publishing house, then by all means go for that first. You probably already know (but just in case you don’t) about 99.9% of all literary agents will scoff at representing a manuscript that has already been independently published, even if they think it would otherwise be worth their time and effort to promote (there are some rare and memorable exceptions such as John Grisham’s A Time to Kill and the Fifty Shades of Grey books). Just a week ago today, I met a woman through the FWA (a local writer’s support network) who had that exact experience with a romance novel she had written. She self-published and then sent a completed print copy to an agent who loved it but refused to deal with it. The agent told her to write a new book instead, and if it was of the same quality she could fairly well guarantee it being published. As such, you can try pitching a manuscript at agents for as long as you want, but remember that if you are not successful at that you can always fall back on Indie publishing which certainly beats letting your manuscript gather dust in a drawer somewhere. Also, while an agent might not want to represent a book already self-published, having a successfully received Indie book with good reviews can boost your chances of getting a second, unpublished manuscript recognized as a commercially viable work.
    Ultimately for me the books are all about the fact that I like to write and read, and even when I don’t actually write stories down, I fairly well compulsively create on-going dramas in my head, so I might as well have something real to show for all of my time spent daydreaming. I’d love for writing to be my sole income, but I’m not counting on it to happen in this lifetime. I’m an award-winning novelist; but so what? Like every other writer I personally know who isn’t retired I also have to work for a living. But though I’m not getting rich selling my books, I can earnestly tell you that the experience of meeting individuals who find value in what I have produced has been absolutely worth all of the trouble. However your novel ends up being published, I can only hope you enjoy the results as much as I have.

    In all honesty I am looking forward to someday reading your book, and I hope I have at least given you some food for thought.

    Sincerely,
    T. A. Peters

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