Updates on the book; time to clean out the adverbs.

I’m nearly done with my third draft of the novel. I’m surprised by how little I wanted to change this time around. I suppose having a lot of preparation before the first draft helped. Nonetheless I feel at times a little worried that I’m not doing enough. This isn’t my final draft but I would think that I would have made more major changes by now. Then again, if one counts the time I tried starting the story ten years ago, and then the outline that I made this time around, one could argue that I’m on draft five. Anyway, I’m thinking that with the next draft I have one focus: adverbs. They’re a bad habit that I need to give up. When used sparingly they can add color to writing but usually when I use adverbs I can write the sentence better. I’ve already taken out a million commas (give or take). I try hard not to use the verb “to be” too much, either. I have to admit that I’ve given in to that one but that’s more of a matter of tone than good or bad writing. So far, as I’ve been reading it out loud I haven’t noticed “to be” affecting the tone negatively.

Another bad habit that I’ve been succumbing to in this story is using words other than “said” when a character speaks. It looks corny. I noticed when revising that I used the word “hissed” way too much. Not only is it trite it  didn’t fit the dialogue the characters said. As I go back through with my war on adverbs I need to check for those as well. I think I missed some this last time around.

I’m still nervous about the idea of presenting the novel to publishers. It’s not the fear of rejection that bothers me. It’s the fear of the workload in terms of shopping it around. Even getting an agent is a major decision. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been so keen on submitting my short stories anywhere yet, even though they are more or less ready (I think). What do I do? I have a copy of the 2013 “Writer’s Market” which I’ve been getting tips from lately but I still need to take the step of trying to get my work published. I figured that I would try getting my short stories published while working on the novel, but that would be quite a lot of work all at once–especially when I have a day job. (I haven’t abandoned the idea of publishing the “Stone Force” stuff online but that’s not as important to me as this other work.)

I then came up with an idea. The novel is yet another story that relates to my made-up occult group, “The Order of the Shadows.” If I have short stories that also include this group then I probably could put those out there as a promotional thing to get people enticed to read the novel. Their success may help with getting the novel published. But if I don’t have the time to go to publishers with those first, what should I do?

Through e-books it’s now a lot easier to self-publish and make some money. If they do sell, I can use those figures to help hype up my book. I imagine e-book figures are a lot easier to track than traditional publishing. I’ve seen people self-publish e-books all the time. Why not try it myself? I have the material, I have the incentive. With e-books, I have the time. So I’m going to look into publishers online starting with Amazon. Yes, Amazon is a bit corporate but they have the market cornered with the Kindle. One doesn’t even have to own a Kindle to read e-books for it. Amazon offers software that one can download to read those books on a variety of devices including personal computers. This is something I’m going to have to look into over the weekend. I’m not ruling out traditional publishing, but why not take advantage of the new medium if it works for me?

By the way, on a note regarding the book: I have a couple of characters from a country that I don’t specify but I say that they are “Middle Eastern.” Is this not the correct term? Is there something else I should use? I don’t mind my characters getting it wrong but I want to make sure the narrative is accurate.

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