I have finished my first novel.
I can scarcely believe I’m writing those words…
After four years, numerous drafts and countless hours of editing, the final changes went in on Saturday afternoon. I now, for the very first time, have a completed manuscript that I’m happy for people to read.
A dream that I’ve harboured since the age of 7 has been fulfilled.
Amongst those upon whom I’m happy to inflict this 86,000-word tome are, of course, a select group of what I’m increasingly seeing referred to as beta-readers (a term a little too software-geeky for my liking). I shall call them guinea-pigs!
Is the book perfect? I doubt it. As one of the characters says: “Perfection doesn’t exist.” Will the GPs come back with changes, plot-holes, character defects, story suggestions? Undoubtedly. And I very much hope they do, so that I can be aware of the shortcomings as well as elated about the achievement.
The fact that it may not be perfect isn’t going to prevent me sending it to the other group of guinea-pigs though. Agents and/or publishers.
And therein lies the secondary source of immense excitement… I have a manuscript that I’m ready to send out to seek a publisher! And that’s something I could hardly have imagined 4 years ago. How my baby will fare out in the big wide world is anyone’s guess. I’m prepared (on the outside at least, sensitive little soul that I am) for rejection, rebuttal and possibly even being totally ignored.
But hey, if that happens, I have a Plan B don’t I? Why, of course. Self-publishing.
The more I see the growing army of talented writers out there (yes, that includes you, and you, and especially you) who are self-publishing, the more I believe a tipping-point has been reached. There is a whole new route to readers.
After all, one man’s reject is another’s bedside-table page-turner.
It’s far from the end my friends, this is just the beginning!
Care to join me on the journey friends and see how Jumping From Cliffs – for that is its name, having been re-christened from Dark Energies a couple of months ago – gets on in its quest to grace the shelves of a bookshop? I do hope so, you’ve all been bloomin’ marvellous so far!
Are you in?