The title to this post is, of course, a show of blatant optimism, since I have completed my personal final edit, but the publisher’s team, kept locked in his basement, will undoubtedly come back with more.
However, it is a milestone to celebrate.
The MS ran to 79,079 words when I passed it to my beta readers (you can read the post about that penultimate stage here). Often beta readers will produce varying accounts, some of which will be contradictory. It’s up to you, the creator of the piece, to determine which suggestions you take forward and which you, sensitively, reject (sensitively, because your beta readers are a precious resource and it does no good to upset them).
The final MS now totals 81,437 words, but that includes the dedication, acknowledgements, and that modern essential, the ‘end matter’. Some of their suggestions involved minor grammatical changes, some prompted small restructures, and a couple, quite unintentionally, had me adding and subtracting text, as they sparked new ideas.
The book is a work of fiction. It’s set 10 years from now but takes place in real places, except, for reasons that will become clear when you read the book, one location is a creative interpretation of a real place. So, I feel a map will be of help to readers. I started drawing that today and should finish it later, before I send the whole lot to my publisher and await the outcome. Unusually for me, I’ve a clear idea for the cover. There’s time for me to render that as an illustration, so I’ll spend a few days putting it together and then send that on, too. My publisher, a great guy to work with, will have his own ideas, and his own cover artists, but he’ll consider my suggestions.
I’m not revealing the title yet, nor the synopsis. All I’ll say at this point is the story stars a remarkable young woman and five other disparate individuals tossed together under unusual circumstances in isolation during a time of great turmoil.
Have I whetted your appetite? Best way to follow the progress is to follow this blog, which you can do by leaving your email address at the short form that appears when you click on the small blue band, top right, ‘W Follow Stuart Aken’. Neither I nor WordPress will spam you, but you’ll receive a short notification each time I post here.
I don’t know what happens with other writers, but for me writing a novel is pretty much all-consuming. It means everything else takes second place. At least now I’ll be able to do all those other things, creative, and otherwise, that I’ve been promising myself, and others, since I started the novel in January!