I recently finished the rough draft of my current novel. Now I can set it aside and work on the final edits for my previous novel in preparation for publication. During this time I will also be doing research and planning for my next two. Once I get those outlined I will go back to the current novel and start those revisions. You see, by the time I finished this rough draft I came to the realization that it is the first of a trilogy! So by laying out the next two I will have a better hold on what I need to do in my revisions to make for a clean flow. Did you follow all that? It’s fine if you didn’t. Sometimes I have trouble keeping it all straight, too.
You see, writing can easily become a never ending process if you aren’t careful. The more you write going forward, the more you realize you have to change going back. This is good. The problem comes when you don’t know when to stop. Revisions are meant to improve your work, and they do, until a certain point when it all starts going downhill. It is possible to make it worse.
It’s also a never-ending learning curve. When we’re young we learn our letters, how to recognize them and how to write them. Then we learn how to string them together to form words, and words into sentences, into paragraphs. A writer has to know how to put all those paragraphs together to tell a story, and how to tell it well so the reader will want more. I’m still working on that part. I will always be working on that part. The goal is to have every book better than the last.
I’ll be meeting with my editor in a couple weeks to go over her notes for “Mary Bishop” and she’s going to tell me all the ways I can make my writing better, my storytelling more compelling. And, hopefully, I’ll be able to take those notes home and do just that. Then I’ll think about those notes when I’m revising my current rough draft so it’s even better when it gets to the professional editing stage. And at the same time, I’ll be learning how to juggle multiple projects, editing one, while revising another, while researching and outlining two more.
Soon I’ll be learning how to self-publish. I’ll form my own LLC. I’ll need to copy write and register for an ISBN number. I’ll learn how to format the novel, and on which websites, so that it’s accessible on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, libraries. Follow that with learning how to market my books, and how to handle taxes.
The only thing I’m not going to be learning how to do myself is cover design. I’ll pay a graphic artist familiar with book covers to do that for me. Part of the learning process is knowing when something is better off in the hands of another.