James Floyd Kelly

Writer and Swashbuckler-for-Hire

Draft 2 – Revisiting Chapter 1

I had lunch with a friend on Tuesday who is a published author of a Young Adult novel… (his second novel is with the editor now and I got a summary of it and it sounds awesome).  He offered to take my first Draft 2 chapter (5000 words) and give it a read and provide some feedback.

His feedback was outstanding!  He didn’t have a lot of criticism of the dialogue and overall story – I was pleasantly surprised.  Instead, he had some great suggestions on improving the flow of the story, including removing a couple of dialogue areas that, after listening to his explanation, made sense.  He also recommended that I break the chapter into two pieces, shortening the chapters (again).  Where he chose to break Draft 2 Chapter 1 was so obvious… and after following his recommendations and making a few changes here and there as well as breaking the chapter into two parts… the new Chapters 1 and 2 are so much better.

He’s offered to look at later chapters, and I may take him up on that here and there, but I’m definitely not going to flood him with every chapter revision… he’s busy writing, too.  But his suggestions were great and they’ll certainly carry over to later chapters in my Draft 2 rewrite.

He also gave me some suggestions on getting the book looked at when I’m ready – fiction is so much different than non-fiction.  With non-fiction, I just call up my editor, we chat, and I submit proposals based on what they like or on what ideas are floating around my head… they pick from the group and I get a contract.  Not with fiction, obviously… half the battle is either finding an agent OR getting the name of an editor.  I’m lucky in that I have a few insider-friends who can provide that info when I reach that point… but it was a bit surprising to hear how resistant fiction publishers are to communicating with writers… tech non-fiction publishers are almost begging for writers to contact them.  (Of course, this is the nature of the beast – tech changes fast and publishers have to get books written fast and on the shelves before Software 2.0 comes out and replaces the Software 1.0 book… crazy).

So… I’ll be getting back to work next week on revisions (visitors in town today through Sunday, so I’m not expecting to get a lot of writing/editing/revising done.)

Another good thing today – had a call from one of my editors who is anxious to push forward on one of the two book proposals I submitted over a week ago.  It’s the proposal that I can’t talk about (argh), but the good news is that the interest is there and I think they’re willing to fast-track the book if I can get the proposal filled in a bit more by next week.  I’m kinda antsy to get writing again (on something that pays, that is) and this is a topic I can enjoy.

We also talked about the LEGO book proposal and have agreed that we’ll open discussions on it again in a few months.  I’m happy about that as I’m a bit burned out on LEGO books right now.

So, no scorecard or Progress Bar today… just need to do some planning so I can get back to the revision work on Monday and tackle the next few chapters.


July 22, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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