Blog 9 – Past the finishing post

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First Draft

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I’m feeling a little smug. Sorry.

I want to shout out my accomplishment in a very un British way. I must apologise.

I have finished my new book! Ye ha and all that!

Ahem, now I’m standing on a box with a megaphone,

I HAVE FINISHED MY NEW BOOK!!!!!!!!!

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Ahhhh, that feels better. Please excuse my outburst, but it is a lovely point in any writer’s life. To finish a book that you have been working hard on; in silence, away from friends.

Oh, but I have not finished it. Just the first draft of course. That rough but certainly not ready first edition that only a scant few will see. Complete with ttypos and plot holes and a crappy cover, but that is okay. Those few are friends… and better yet, friends of friends who do not know me, so will hopefully be more honest with their reviews.

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How important are reviews? At this stage they are the guiding light. I know the story way too well to have any distance from it. I know all the twists and turns, who is who. I know the red herrings from the clues and the jokes that originated in my head and still make me chuckle. But will they make you chuckle? Will you see too easily the clues I have left behind to the point of making it pedestrian? And talking of which, is the pace fast enough?

Think about when you tell someone a joke… It is more than just the words. You have to set it up. You have to engage the listener with minor gags along the way that build the whole scene up. You need to get the timing right and the joke to be a complete surprise for full effect. I’m terrible at telling jokes… I try too hard and lose the natural rhythm. Well it is the same with a story, especially when it is a thriller or murder mystery.

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I love this joke

So thank you to those friends that are reading it right now. Thank you Chris in Miami who raced through it in three days saying he could not put it down at night. And thank you for what you have said already regarding a couple of the characters… it has already given me ideas for the second draft.

Readers all over America, some in England and even one in Norway for a little Scanoir feedback.

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So if you are in a similar position, don’t be too shy to show anyone. It will never grow that way. Your story needs to see the sunlight and be watered by praise or encouraged by loving clips of dead limbs. I was never a good gardener either as you might see.

Get it onto people’s e-readers or even give it a false title and author’s name to get it published on Amazon under their excellent Createspace service.

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Createspace is their publishing arm, and I have to say, it is brilliant. It does not cost a penny to set up, unlike other services such as Ingram Sparks. They also provide an ISBN and it will be available all over the world. Once you are happy with the book (after 2 or 3 drafts) and it has been proof read to perfection for mistakes, it is ready to be a first edition and then you can re title it and give it your own ISBN. Another milestone.

This is when you think about advertising your book. I have only just started, which is very slow of me. I put out an Ad on Facebook 2 days ago for £30 that will last me a week. How exciting is that. Okay, so only 2 sales thus far, but it is early days yet, and for now it is all part of the adventure. I will let you know how I got on in my next blog.

Until then,

Happy writing,

Mark.

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