Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Time to commit to finishing the novel

I've been dithering about what to do with the novels I have lying around on my hard drive. A couple are finished and I have a bunch of other novels in various stages of completion. After a lot of pondering, I have decided that I am going to finish them and then self-publish. I don't have any plans at the moment to try to market them. I just want to be able to put a copy on my bookshelf and say, "I wrote that!" I've been through the being serious, polishing manuscripts for submission and even managed to get an agent (twice), but I never made it to the final stage of professional publication, so I'm not going down that road again.

Recently, I realised that I just don't want to be a professional novelist any more. I had been my ambition from a very young age, but back then it was possible to write a book, submit it, get it accepted and make a little money. Then you'd write another book, submit it, rinse and repeat. Now it's all pressure, pressure, pressure. You have to have a "break out novel", sell tens of thousands of copies and agree to 3 book deals with tight deadlines as to when the next book is due. I realised that, even assuming I could write something to please the modern market (very doubtful!), I would hate the deadline pressure. It wouldn't be good for me. For a while I thought I'd just abandon everything, until, finally, a glimmer of an urge to write returned and so I have set myself the goal of completing the first novel in the fantasy series and having it ready to publish by this time next year.

This is what I have to do:

  • Tidy up the first draft of the first novel in the series and complete any missing bits.

  • Revise it and have a cover designed so I can self-publish, either with Lulu or Lightning Source so I have a printed copy of my novel by my birthday next year (i.e. Late May).

This should be achievable if I actually sit down and get on with it instead of procrastinating. It's realistic because I have a more or less complete first draft, so we're talking mostly revision and filling in the gaps and I've written much faster in the past. It may not actually take a year, but if I do it more quickly, I can work on book 2 next and then 2 and 3 can be published simultaneously because book 3 stands alone and actually was finished years ago.

So that's the plan...

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