Autumn, Winter, Spring now. Thanksgiving and Christmas both were great. Got to host my whole family here in Long Beach for both holidays. Nothing better.
New Year’s till now. Still working on the ol’ book.
First, previous post I promised to publish a short story (later expanded aspirationally to a 3-story collection) as an interim publication before launching The Art of Lying.
That’s not going to happen. I certainly could do it. The stories are ready. But between the time I considered the idea and now, I’ve realized that I will do much better with the novel by not turning away from it for any extended period of time. That might be a good idea at first or second draft, but not now.
When I revise a piece and finish it, the process is slow and laborious. But it gradually accelerates as there is less and less to do. I’m in that last stage now on The Art of Lying. Where, in the early stages of revision, I make grand structural changes and redo entire scenes and sequences, now I’m down to aligning details, fixing timelines, proofreading for style consistencies. These things are best kept foremost in one’s mind at this stage. Setting aside the novel for six weeks to publish a story collection does not help for remembering those tiny details.
As I’ve gone along, I’ve dabbled in the forthcoming phases of self-publication: formatting, cover art, marketing, Amazon positioning, etc. My current draft, #6, includes final formatting decisions including drop caps on chapters, chapter title style, a chosen font for print publication. Likewise, certain elements of art, marketing, and positioning are starting to emerge from the swamp as well.
At times I despair that this book will never amount to more than the 5-12 purchases my family and closest friends will make. While, most often, I swell with optimism that this is just plain a good book – better than 95% of what’s out there – and that is enough for now. The other bookend (pun intended) of these fears/dreams is that The Art of Lying will meet good reception, and gradually develop a following and momentum that establishes me as a full-blown author and member of the $5,000 a year club. Why not?
Where am I now? I’m just three weeks into my most recent draft and I’m already through 22% of 359 pages. The last half has already proven a quick run. So per my evaluation methods, it will go much more quickly once I’m past halfway. Perhaps this (final?) draft will be done in six weeks?
Hopefully my cover artist will come up with something great. But if he doesn’t (or doesn’t in time), I’m working on alternate ideas. Please, Lord, let it be June 2018 and I’m in the last stages of putting The Art of Lying out for publication!