Sometimes people think writing a book is easy, but it really isn’t. It may be enjoyable, but it is like any job, hard work and frustrating at times.
Writing a first draft is a difficult process for me. It takes a lot of concentration and copious amount of notes, then there is all the self doubt. Will I ever get to the end? Do I even know where the end is? Does it make sense?
I did manage to reach an end and the novel I was working on was 35,000 words in length. I then started the rewriting process where I have to pull everything together; add bits, expand, retouch, rewrite chapters etc, and finally make myself even more notes. Writer Patty Fletcher, referred to it as the colouring in. That’s a good analogy. I colour in my words and bring them to life.
I put it away for a month or so and then re-read it with fresh eyes and do yet another edit. This consists of finding words that make the sentences sharper and looking to see if I can show what happens instead of telling. Some of the sentences may need shortening to give them more of an impact. I’ll also check descriptions, where I may have written He went inside the old house, for example, I ask myself what I mean by old? I’m seeing it, but is the reader? I may have to give a fuller description so that the reader can feel how old is old and like they are there, too.
When all that is done, I’ll send it to my kindle and re read it as if it was a ‘real book.‘ I’ll make notes of anything that doesn’t work and any typos I missed. Does is still make sense? Does it flow? Can I make it even better? I’ll work on the corrections, and may ask someone else to read it as well.
After all that, that I’ll need a professional editor who will see all the things I’ve missed – and there will still be plenty. After that a proof reader will look for further errors and typos.
If I’m self publishing, like I did with this novel, I will choose a cover for it.
Finally, it’s over to the reader. Hopefully they will like it and will me write a review. Then other readers will click onto my book and check out the reviews and if there aren’t any or only a couple, they will flick past it and on to someone’s else books instead.
it’s only then as the reviews come in that I know my job is done and the whole thing starts over again as my next book starts taking form.