Chapter 10 - The Finish Line....

It has been quite a while since I posted here, but to be honest what could I really tell you about the last few months in writing terms?  Not much really, it would be pretty boring to detail how I sat at my desk, or on my laptop and tapped out 26 letters in particular order to create a story.  That's what you expect me to be doing since you know I'm writing a book. A writers life can be pretty lonely, mundane and repetitive.  The only interesting part to the readers of this blog would probably be more about what distracted me from writing not the actual process of typing out the images in my head.

So anyway, I didn't bore you and I don't intent to now.

The update right now, well The Poppy Garden is complete.

It's been around three weeks since I wrote the last words.

Finishing a book is a strange sensation, there's elation that you've done what you set out to do, you got all of those words, images, emotions down on piece of paper or in my case saved on a computer and you can sit back and think Wow.

Then there's the realisation, especially if it's a stand alone book, that you've had your last experience with the characters you've created, the ones you've spent all this time with, the ones you know and love like they are family.  Now the book is done, it's time to say goodbye and that for me is a sad moment.  I've spent almost two years living with these people, I say that like they are real because in a way they are to me.  They are people I know I would love or dislike in equal measure if I bumped in to them in the street, worked with them or socialised with them.

So now what?

Well I take a break from the story, not that I forget it or don't think about it I just don't look at it for a while.  I need to put some distance between myself and the pages in order to be able to go back and start working on the editing phase.

This is the stage I'm currently at, editing and proof reading.  As an independent author and as someone who has a life to support via my day job I do not have the luxury of being able to hire a professional proof reader / editor.  It's just not financial viable for me right now.  This has caused issue for my first published book as I know there are errors in it but I lean as I go and one day I will go back and hopefully be in a position to have the editing and proofing done properly.

Anyway, right now for The Poppy Garden, I'm again doing it myself.  Each writer has their own way of managing this process.  Some writers do it all on paper with a red pen, others do it directly on to the PC.

My process for this book is:

  • Go through page by page of a printed copy making my amends in pencil
  • Transfer the edits on to an editing copy on the computer (I always keep an original draft, then editing draft versions - however many that may take) 
  • Read out loud to myself to check how it reads. 

I'm currently on page 42 of my edits, in totally the book is 300 pages of A4 which equates to 130,427 words.    I'm planning on  finishing the edits by the beginning of September and then I will pass the manuscript to one or two trusted friends for comment.

The next stage will be the start of a marketing campaign.....

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