A few months ago I was working in a job that afforded me a bit more down time than I was used to and so, knowing that the first draft of my book was almost complete, I spent a lot of that time reading as much advice as I could on how to take a rough first draft and turn it into a polished finished product. Some of that advice seemed obvious, some of it less so. Some parts contradicted others, a few common points emerged. Having just finished the second draft of my book here is what I found from going through the process.
Toward the end of last year I finished the first draft of the novel I had been working on for quite a long time. I had started writing it in early 2008, took a forced break from it due to illness at the beginning of 2009 and finally reached the end in December 2010. It was the third novel I had attempted and the only one to get as far as a finished draft. I didn’t really have much of a clue what I was doing when I started it, I had a general plot and several ideas for things that would happen along the way, but other than that I didn’t know what I was doing. I think when I started it I expected I would write five chapters, maybe six, before realising I had run out of ideas entirely. But that never happened. Instead I managed thirty chapters spread over 92,000 words with a beginning, a middle and an end.
Now of course, as a thousand writing websites insist, the real work begins.
When I first bought my e-book reader about eight months ago I was initially sceptical about it. Most of that scepticism was put to rest on the first day when a combination of the bizarre beauty of electronic ink and the ease of buying a book and immediately reading it on the train were so wonderful that those initial concerns just faded away. I have since become a near complete convert. Now when I hear of a new book my first act is to look it up on the kindle library to see if it is available. When I discover one that is not I click the ‘tell the publisher I want to read this on kindle’ button, and then impatiently order a paper copy anyway. I am happy to have e-books and traditional books alongside one another and am comfortable reading either, but e-books are fast becoming my preference.
Continue reading “Minor e-book criticisms”