Sweet, sweet vanity

June 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm (Writing Ranting) (, , , )

On Friday I finished my eleventh book. (I’ve thrown five away, and most of the rest are set in the same fantasy world – Rahana.)

This book is different. This book isn’t about love, heroism, or even imagination or wonder. It’s about farts.

It’s short – I didn’t think my mojo was up to much – barely over 10,000 words (which is quite normal for the 8-12 age range). It’s humour – which made me a little nervous (humour is usually hard to write, especially consistently over a whole book/whole readership), but I’ve sold several humour short stories, so it wasn’t too big a leap.

I’ve tested chapter one on two eight-year olds I tutor (one reluctant reader and one dyslexic). They both found it funny, and chose to continue reading my book over reading other books (which have pictures). That bodes VERY well. I left chapters two and three with the first eight-year old, and left chapters 1-3 with an eleven-year old (a perfectly-good reader). I’m curious to see whether they actually read them. If they do, I’ll be seriously. . . surprised.

However.

I’ve also sent the first three chapters to an online critique group. The four or five people who commented were overwhelmingly positive. I just posted the rest of it, and a sixth person described the whole thing as “Brilliant, with a few minor grammar issues”. My conclusion is that either it’s a great leap forward in my writing (particularly regarding marketability, which is the main thing), or the critique group is rubbish. I’m fairly sure it’s the latter.

But what if this is it? What if I sell it to a major publisher first go? What if it actually sells well?

I’m so puffed up with the crit group’s flattery that I feel like sending it off quickly. That’s dumb. What I should do is:

1. get comments from the crit group for a week or two

2. make those changes

3. give it a “final” go-through

4. leave it for one or two months

5. edit again

6. get my real-life friends to critique it (one of whom once told me – incredibly apologetically – that a book of mine had no good points whatsoever. It was then nearly published by a really big publisher, who clearly has lower standards).

7. re-edit

8. send it to a pro crit agency

9. edit again, and if I have to make big changes I should leave it for another month or two before another “final” edit

10. THEN send it to a publisher.

But for now, visions of mass publication are dancing in my head.

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1 Comment

  1. Ben (Crispin) said,

    …Shut up…

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