Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Meanwhile, back at the salt mines

In the earliest days of this blog, I wrote a few posts that outlined my approach to novel-writing. I'm not the sort to heed other people's advice so I invented the process from whole cloth.

I had questions and I questioned everything. First person or third person? Must I include an antagonist? How would I avoid the boring pitfalls most novels fall into (like sci-fi novels including evil government agents in every single story)? How should I write dialogue? And how the heck do you structure a scene? It was all new to me. When I started writing, I didn't know a thing.

In the end, I just dove in and wrote the book. I like to figure things out for myself and the best way to learn is by doing the thing you want to master. Xmas Carol is the first book I've taken all the way through the process, from initial idea to completed book. It's been a learning experience every step of the way, including right now.

The recent Big Question is "when is it done?" How do you know? Part of me (and most of my friends) said to let go of the book. Yes, I could always improve it further but it was okay, so just publish the damn thing. That's basically been the advice. And to this I say, "Nuh-uh."

Right now, two friends are proofreading the book for me. They offered and it would have been foolish to say no. In the meanwhile, I'm reading the book. And yes, I'm changing things here and there. But you know what? That's what you're supposed to do. I finally figured out that you don't let it go until you're happy with every word. I always thought so, but now I know this in my heart. You have to be proud of every sentence in your book.

For those anxious to buy Xmas Carol, have no fear. It won't be long and I promise it will be worth the wait. This book is fun.