Friday, May 10, 2013

FINISHED!

FINISHED!

Many friends of mine in the writing industry are having a good chuckle over that statement. They know the reality of it.
The manuscript is finished. But it still has to go through the meat grinder of editing before it can be declared a book. This entails pulling out all the notes everyone has written pertaining to the various chapters, and going through it all and fixing the errors and problems they found. Then, I have to assemble the manuscript as a whole and it must be read through again to look for continuity errors, apocryphal scenes, story flow, etc. Then it must be adjusted again, and read through again in order to ensure I didn’t introduce new errors while fixing the earlier errors. It’s like a tennis match with the manuscript bouncing back and forth until there is nothing more to do with it.
THEN it becomes a book. Sort of. Once the narrative is fixed and ready for reading, I then have to construct it into an ebook. With The Pirate Arc, I discovered that discrepancies appeared in how the ebook was rendered aross the various ebook reader platforms. Because the file I created renders fine on each of the units I own, I can only surmise that the various distributors applied some sort of post-processing that altered the formatting of the EPUB. Amazon annoyed me the most, because that is precisely what they did.
I need to do a little experimenting to figure out what I can do on my end to avoid this issue from happening when Nobody is released.

What a strange mood to be having—almost surreal.
I really started developing Aggadeh Chronicles around 2008. The idea had been bouncing around in my head for longer than that, but it was 2008 that I started writing out the notes for it. By the end of 2009, I had a story that was significantly more complex than I thought it was going to be when I started writing it out. After a long conversation with my brother, he echoed what was bouncing around in my head: that I should break the story into multiple books.
So, 2010 saw me start rewriting my notes and beginning to write out the new outline and narrative for Nobody, the first book of Aggadeh Chronicles. It was my hope that I would have Nobody completed and ready to go by the summer of 2011.
It didn’t work out that way. Life has a way of happening, and sometimes what it brings you is serves as a huge distraction from the course you’re trying to follow. Also, I am not a multitasker by any measure. Trying to do other things other than writing were constantly distracting me from actually getting any writing done. Oh, sure, I’d get a little done here and a little done there, but nothing that would really amount to anything.
I realized that if I wanted to write a book, I would have to go all in. No more working part time jobs, looking for full time work, or trying to start various businesses. The economy pretty much killed off any chance I had of succeeding in any of those ventures.
I looked at my situation. No employment prospects before me. The T-shirt shop I was running with friends was pretty much destroyed by the economy; our customers were primarily civic and charity organizations, two groups that were slammed by the economy. No money, no T-shirts.
I did have fairly significant savings set aside, so I looked long and hard at my situation and realized in that moment, I had the opportunity to make a go at writing. No job. I had enough savings to last me for a couple of years without income.
What I expected would take a year-and-a-half has actually taken three years. As I said above, life has a way of getting in your way sometimes.
The biggest problem was the knowledge that I was running out of money. My original plan was to get the book out while I still had at least enough money in the bank to make minimum payments on bills for a year, so I would have enough time to work on Plan-B in case sales of Nobody flopped. (Keep note of this paragraph; there is an inside joke about this in Privateer when I release that book.) 
I’ve gone way past that point. When Nobody is released in a few weeks, I now only have enough money to last until the first check gets paid out from royalties. I’ve no buffer left. No Plan-B. I have always told people that writing a book is a huge gamble. I really have gone all in on this project. As in a poker game, it’s time to show that last card…

So, after three years of this, it was such a strange feeling when I completed the last sentence and it slowly hit me that I had just finished the story.
And I do mean slowly.
It took hours for the feeling to sink in. I wrote it, put down the computer and walked away from the desk. Took a walk to stretch my legs. Went out to run errands. Had scheduled obligations to deal with in the evening. I said I am not a multitasker, so all this business kept me from really contemplating the significance of completing this task.
When all was done and I finally had the chance to head home and sit quietly, only then did I have the chance to ruminate on the fact that the book was done.
Only then did the reality of it hit me.
312 pages, 17 chapters, containing 104,162 words.
It’s done!
I am no longer writing a book. I have written a book!
Right there in front of me is the entire manuscript. Ready to go [get edited].
I don’t have to write anymore. I have nothing more to do. After three years, that is a strange sensation.
This also means that the release is coming soon. An exciting and terrifying thing. Exciting, because my book will finally be out there at last. Terrifying, because my offering is going to be laid on the altar of literature and I can only hope that readers accept it.
When I put out the excerpt of the first six chapters, I got an enormous amount of positive feedback from people. Heck, I even got fan mail!
For the moment, a brief pause is in order. The lilacs are blooming, it’s time to go sniff the flowers.