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Act 2 re-written and being reviewed March 10, 2012

Posted by mattfarmer in writing.
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I has been a full-on week for me. Novel work, copy writing work, an education about what happens when a client isn’t happy. All good stuff really.

I finished Act 2 re-write this week. It felt more like a first draft, maybe version 1.2, rather than a full version 2.0. Some tweaks to the plot and story in Act 1 flowed through to Act 2. My main characters (Oh! I can name them now! You all have downloaded Act 1, so you know who I am talking about!), Navarr and Mizzell no longer pay their way on board and are chummy with everyone. As you know ;), they fell on to the ship, well, you don’t know that, but hey, it isn’t such a huge spoiler. So, they are not automatically chummy with the crew. But, through their actions, particularly Navarr, they become friends with a few of them.

This is important since it is Navarr’s journey I need to focus on. It is his development as a character, going from meek little office boy to a man of the world, with a woman! Just a little bit of cheese cake there.

Another piece of advice I followed was not introducing so many characters. I know who all the weird and wonderful characters are, I invented them, I found imagery to best represent them, I wrote down some details for them, all for me. So I know them all. But as a reader, another name can over load the brain. Hard to keep track of the main story elements if you need to remember all those names. I know that when I read epic fantasies, such as Feist’s Magician, and the Game of Thrones, having to reference that glossary of names at the back, takes me OUT of the story.

So it was good to get Act 2 in the bag, for a brief while at least. I will get it back in a week with ‘suggestions’, I know it. It also gives me a good idea on the time line. I might have to push the full release date back a bit, but this is okay. I have a plan and there is a time critical element that I cannot control. And yes, I am being very vague here. đŸ™‚

The Creative Penn released a blog post back on the 4th of March- The 7 Worst Mistakes of Indie Authors and How to Fix Them. I am keeping a keen eye on anything which talks about indie authors of late. A friend of mine, Catherine Gracey, blogged about how our friend Scarlett and myself, have been inspiring her on her journey of being an author – blog poster here. It is fantastic to know I am inspiring a fellow writer to rethink her journey. I am finding that is it a very supportive group of people I am getting involved with. Catherine and Scarlett are there to bounce ideas off, and to edit. I throw thoughts at Sarah Billington who is much farther down this indie publishing route than all of us, and yet is quite open and friendly for chats. I throw shout outs to these people where I can, and in return they share the love back. It is great.

So, back to the Creative Penn. They say it is best to learn from the mistakes of others, so I read this article with a keen eye to my own progress. I will address all seven items in this list for you all.

1. Know myself? What am I doing? Why am I doing this? I consider writing to be my best talent. It is what I am best at. Now, I can be great at customer service or communication or knowing the rules of basketball and blowing my whistle, but writing is something I enjoy and something I am good at. It is why after so many years I have leapt before I looked into the world of freelance copy writing. It is also why I am self-publishing a novel. I have said for a long time that I wanted to be a published author. I have said for a long time that – I will just re-write this and then send it off for publication, without actually doing anything with it. Hello, I have a 5 book epic sci fi series sitting there wanting love…  So, for number 1? I am doing it, not to make money, but to get it out there. So many people want to read my work, so I want them to read it too. I am also really enjoying taking my writing seriously. Marketing myself, getting an ISBN, a cover artist, real editing from friends. I can make some pocket money off it, sure, but the whole process is fun and exciting for me.

2. Being a writer, being involved with NANOWRIMO, I know professional editors. And, I have asked that they don’t be nice to me because we’re friends. I have even offered payment. Of course there have been ‘mates rates’, but it is legitimate. It feels good to say- I had a meeting with my editor today. It is also good to get a fresh set of eyes on the manuscript.

3. As I have shown you all in earlier blogs, Scarlett Rugers designs has done a fantastic job in designing my book cover and additional web banner advertising. Another sign I am taking this seriously. I could have scoured free photo sites and mocked something up, but I doubt I could have achieved anything like what Scarlett has.

4. This is why I am only doing e-publishing first off. It is cheaper for me and I don’t have to have a pile of books in storage waiting for sales. I would love to have books, in hand, which I could sell and sign and give to people. It is something I will consider, but yes, did not chose the print then sell path purely for this reason.

5. The cover design was part of a Nanowrimo promotion. Smashwords is free, the editing I can pay for in chocolate. I am definitely all over number 5.

6. My marketing for the free Act 1 release included emailing my friends, flooding facebook, to my friends and asking them to tell their friends. Posting on my blog and twitter, and again, getting my friends to re-tweet. A web banner on the bottom of my email and sticking the web banners wherever I could. Very little marketing for the free download.

7. Well, I am focused on this one book, currently, because it is the current book I am writing. I already have book titles for the other two books in the series, and I have a vague story arc, so there will be a trilogy. Hoping 2nd book in the same year, but possibly 1 book a year. It depends how much I can cram into my life and earn money.

And now I would like to leave you with a quote from a friend who read my book. I like it. It is honest and positive and amusing:

I will admit to starting to read the book out of ‘politeness’ (I said I would, so I was) and I really got into it. Don’t tell me that I have to wait for the rest (I was intolerable when the Lord of the Rings trilogy came out – I had to wait a *whole* year to see the next instalment!!! Now the Hobbit looks like it is going to do the same thing – Agggggg!!!!) 

You should be really proud of your book – It is definitely publishable material (in my humble opinion!). Try to remember us little people when you get famous đŸ˜‰


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