Platform: Self-Publishing

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Was It Worth It? First Draft Feedback #AmWriting

I shan’t lie to you.

#AmWriting new

Much as I thought I’d be able to keep myself busy whilst waiting for feedback from my two wonderful alpha readers, that little niggle stayed there…

  • What if it makes no sense?
  • What if they don’t like it?
  • What if I don’t get any feedback because it was that bad?
  • What if I’ve totally wasted eighteen years of my creative life working on a project that wasn’t even worth it?

One had already told me it would take a little time to get through reading, due to their own writing commitments, and as I really value their feedback, I was fine with that. I’ve taken eighteen years to get here, after all, a few weeks more shouldn’t matter!

The other said they’d get to it as soon as they could but it would take a few days.

That’s okay.

I could wait a few days…

And I got my first ping in my inbox just a day or two after, with some initial observations.

Maybe think about changing the title, it doesn’t do justice to what has been read so far.

  • Okay, I get that. Wedded Stress was a working title that I came up with all those years ago, and I was prepared for the fact that I may have to change it if it didn’t suit the end story. It’s just so hard to stop thinking of my WIP as Wedded Stress, but old habits die hard. So, I’ve been thinking of other titles…

More show and less tell.

  • Again I expected that, especially at the beginning of the story, as my writing was pretty immature back then.

A few bits to mull over…

I waited with baited breath for the full feedback, and this morning I got it.

I celebrated with a rather naughty breakfast!

And the reason for my elation?

Let me use my reader’s own words…

“Ok, finished it and I think its ACE! Bags of potential and you need to do something with it because the world needs to read this. Fabulous novel idea.”

It was followed by some really constructive feedback about where I could tighten things, add descriptions, develop some of the characters further, and there is a niggle with POV (Point Of View) but the reader loved the characters!

“They come to life and I don’t think you need to get rid of any.”

And the end statement just made my day…

“I think its an excellent story and as a first draft it’s stunning. A lot of it is written really well so I don’t think you have huge rewrites.”

  • Relief, that I haven’t wasted my time!, and hopefully I don’t need to rewrite it all
  • Gratitude, as my reader used precious time to read my WIP, and gave such helpful feedback
  • Pride, that my writing has been given such praise, even in its rawest form
  • Impatience, as I wait for my other reader to let me know what they think

So the folder came out, the post-its and new erasable highlighters too! I am prepared for the next stage of changes, which I will start after the Bash this weekend!

Peeps, I think this is really happening!

Eeeek!!!!

Letting Your Baby Go #AmWriting

You’ll be proud of me, I hope.

#AmWriting new

My 18-year-old baby, my WIP which was granted adult status this year, had it’s first read through by me. I sat there in the sunshine yesterday, completing it, post -t marking chapters, and scrawling on the pages where I could see corrections that needed to be made.

Then I opened the document up on my screen and proceeded to correct. Some were grammatical errors, some, were where the words made no sense. There were a couple of names mixed up and some capitalizations that needed to be added.

It was hard rereading my own words. I felt the first few chapters really showed my naivete as a writer, but, considering I was much younger at the time, it wasn’t too bad!

I cut a couple of waffley chunks and identified a few others, but was loathe to lose them yet.

Saved, on my hard drive, two pen drives, the Cloud and emailed to myself, I shut the screen down, and had a well-earned sleep.

But that isn’t all I need to do, is it?

Really, I need to be that parent who is ready to let their child spread their wings!

We had a few ‘play-dates’ earlier on, so to speak, when I posted the first few chapters on the blog, eager for your feedback, but I still hadn’t let go fully. (Mind you, I hadn’t written it all at that stage either!

But, I knew I needed another opinion. From people I trusted. Those who I know would be honest, and/or read work in this genre regularly.

Charli Mills, head rancher at the Carrot Ranch, suggested I go for some Alpha readers.

Now, I’d heard of Beta readers, but Alpha?

These were the ones who would look at my unadulterated manuscript, and give me feedback on the characters, and plot, spot gapping holes in the story, etc…

It was time to let my WIP out on its first residential…

And I waved goodbye to it, twice, this morning.

Now I’m like that nervous mother, pacing, wondering whether it’s behaving, leaving a good impression, did it get there in one piece?

And I shall be eagerly awaiting that email to say how it’s doing too…

Unlike a true residential, I don’t know when it’ll be back with me, to peruse the comments… so, until then, I’ll have to wait, impatiently…

Oh, God!

Will they like it? Will it be ripped to shreds? Have I wasted eighteen years of my creative life? Should I just give up hope now?

I needed to keep myself busy, so I did the obvious thing on this glorious Bank Holiday – I got my nails done!

And I wrote this post… And I’ll be off to visit the in-laws soon too.

Then school will keep me busy.

And the run up to the Bash…

But, will it stop me from constantly checking my emails and messages? I don’t think so!

Oh man, then I’ll rewrite, and have to send it to an Editor or Beta readers, and do it all over again!!!!!!!

This is going to be some wait…

Have a wonderful Monday Peeps!

 

 

The Big Reread Has Commenced #AmWriting #AmRereading #AmCringing

Well, some told me to leave it ages, up to three-six months, before rereading my baby. Others said get right on it. By the time you are ready to reread from the start, it will have been a while since you began anyway.

#AmWriting new

Updated this too!

I decided to take the middle road, and it’s been around three weeks.

Yesterday, I took to my printout with pencils and post-its, and read the first few chapters…

Sonu Singh was at the ready to help me along.

And it really struck me, as I read, just how much my writing has come along since I started this project 18 years ago.

Sure the ideas are good (I think) and the characters are forming, but some of the writing!

Wow!

It’s clumsy and repetitive in places.

I didn’t know exactly how much I used the words actually and really in my manuscript, and that was the first three chapters!

But at least I’m looking at it with a more mature head now, and hopefully, I can rectify these issues.

I need to use this reread to find silly errors and plot holes and make copious notes about what needs rewriting… EEK!!!

And even though I’m not remotely at the stage where I will be ready to publish anything, I started wondering what the cover could look like.

#ProcrastiQueen – yes I believe that may be me!

This is what I came up with…

Mock Up cover

The bangles have some significance which you find out as you read the story…

I’ve been looking into the whole self vs. traditional publishing thing too, and researched agents… It’s a bit mad!

I’ve had quotes for editing/formatting too if I was to go down the ‘self’ route, and I have had some wonderful offers from great friends, to help along the way.

Once I do this mammoth reread and first change around, my next step will be beta readers.

I need to know if this is WOW! enough to even go down the agent/traditional route. Or if I get decent feedback, whether to push myself on the self-publishing route. Or if it is truly awful, and needs a lot more work!

This whole writing journey is a long and winding one, and I hope you are enjoying following it with me, Peeps! Your input has been invaluable so far!

In case you didn’t get it before, the prospective blurb is:

Aashi’s life was all set.
Or so she thought.
After finding out her fiancé was not the man she thought, she vows to put him, and her innocence behind her.
Accompanied by her brothers and best friend, she embarks upon an enlightening journey, where memories created and new relationships forged, have far-reaching effects.

I will also need to work on a synopsis too!!

This whole writing journey is a long and winding one, and I hope you are enjoying following it with me, Peeps! Your input has been invaluable so far!

Realistic Costs – Opinions Needed #AmWriting

It’s that time… I need to be realistic and start thinking about budgeting for the nitty gritty of this novel…

#AmWriting

If I go down the Self Publishing route there are lots of extra costs, which I assume a traditional publisher would normally cover…

I am fortunate enough to have a few people on hand who, when the time comes, are willing to be beta-readers for my novel, but there is more.

  • proof reading
  • editing – in it’s various forms
  • formatting
  • cover design – Chris, I know you are there!

I tried to research and came up with a wealth of conflicting information, so I have some questions for you writers out there…

    1. What kind of budget do you recommend setting aside for editing and formatting your book?
    2. What have been the average rates you have paid for editing?
    3. Do you have recommendations?
    4. My book is at around 84,000 words at the moment. It’s romance, contemporary fiction… what do you think I may pay?

 

So many things to consider!

I really appreciate all the input you have given me so far!

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