Saturday, 23 September 2017

Working on an old book

While my wife reads my latest book, pen and comments at the ready, I've spent the last few weeks going through an older book which caught my eye again for some reason. Almost immediately, it was obvious that while the story and concept are decent, the execution was pretty sloppy: repetitive terms, poor description and issues with the pacing. Funny thing is fixing all that stuff hasn't really taken a hell of a lot of work. Time, yes, because I'm reading through it carefully and literally checking each line, but the work has been fairly easy. Whether that means the overall book isn't as bad as I first thought with the new read or I've improved a lot since the first draft, I don't know. The latter, I suspect.

The original submissions didn't go too badly - several requests for the full book based on the opening and a contract from a small press which I passed on after spotting some flaws in the contract (missing clauses and terms that were much more for the publisher's benefit rather than mine) which is definitely more of a result than some of my other submissions. The plan is to finish going through it today, finalise the new cover letter (it's already got a new title) and then start a fresh load of submissions. Even if it goes nowhere, I've enjoyed the work and found it extremely useful. It's been a great tool for seeing what I get wrong or overdo in my fiction; I can take that with me into new books and  hopefully have more polished first drafts than I do usually. And maybe this one will find a home second time around.

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