A few thoughts on post-production

June 23, 2015

It seems that once a novel is completed people outside of the author automatically expect a publication date. A date a few weeks from completion wherein they can toddle on down to their bookstore (preferably local) and your book will magically appear on shelves with a shiny, eye-catching cover.


Here's the thing: authors wish that could happen as well.


Here's the issue: first drafts are no where near ready for publication.


So what is an author to do once they have written a novel? In the case of myself, I need a break from it. I pay someone else to read it, to look for errors, gaping plot holes or anything else that needs improving. Why do I pay them? I know that underlying the fantastic ideas and characters I have written about, that the whole of the first draft is shit. Of course I'm going to pay them to read 84,347 words of first draft shit. 


After the draft is returned to me, I will have not looked at my own writing for at least a month. One whole month is enough to gain perspective on what has been written on paper and what remains in my brain. Depending on the amount of corrections I'll need to make, I'll assume that once I polish it with the advice of my beta reader, (trust me, he's scrupulous in his critiques) that I should have a polished enough script to shop for an agent. Hopefully one of the first few agents I query will pick up my manuscript and sell it to a large publishing house. If not, I'll continue to query agents, all the time working on strengthening my initial novel, and working on my second. Eventually it will make it through the publishing house and on to the shelf of the bookstore nearest you.


What can we conclude? Books take time, lots of time. Ideas must be generated, considered, outlined, first drafts written, read, then rewritten. Any agent knows an author is worth the effort when the author themselves have put in all the hard work to be noticed, to be read.


Trust me, the wait is worth it.

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