Category: News

The original draft of Chamberlain’s Folly, with all of the mistakes that I missed during my feeble attempt at self-editing, is still available in the Kindle and Nook stores. It is over 165 kilowords long. (I claim the bastardization of the computer term for my own purposes.) It is filled with misspellings, omissions, punctuation errors and more than one redundant clause.

I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

Don’t get me wrong. I am disappointed in myself. I should have done a better job at editing, but at the time I finished the manuscript, I was too eager to get it into the hands of the small contingent of friends and family that were eager to see the finished product. They still haven’t, by the way, but they have seen the version I self-published.

I also had a wicked sweet cover to use that was donated to me, in exchange for promotional consideration, by a very nice fellow from the south of England named Peter Fussey. The cover rocks.

I just had to get the book out there. I thought a quick self-edit and it would be ready for Kindle and Nook.

I had already decided that no traditional publisher would give it a chance. It was 165 kilowords long. (I don’t know why I get a charge out of using that term.) And, I was certain that there was no way that I could cut it more than a thousand words or so and still tell the story that I wanted to tell.

I made the book available for Kindle on Christmas Eve 2010. I published it to the Nook store on January 14th, 2011.

The third week in January, I got an email from Amazon CreateSpace that they were having a contest for new authors. I really wanted to enter my book, but the upper word count limit was 150,000 words.

Well… darn.

I thought about it. What would I need to do to get my story in a contest?

Edit it. That’s what.

I was in the middle of the second book. I just didn’t have time to re-edit the first.

The manuscript for my second book is much leaner, by the way. I have been concentrating on dialog and action, and I have been doing my best to avoid a lot of exposition. I think that the second book will be much more attractive to a publisher. If only by the virtue of being shorter.

I let the deadline for the CreateSpace contest come and go. I did entertain the thought of trying to edit the book for next year, but I also realized that if my second book was done and edited by then, it might make a better candidate.

Then about three weeks ago, it happened. I ran into an impasse with my second book that stopped me in my tracks. My characters threw me a curve ball. I wrote two really good chapters in a two day period that are forcing me to alter my storyline. I will have to resolve the issue in my head before I write anymore. I’m not stuck, I could write some of the other chapters and come back to this, but my sub-conscious always leaves me ‘easter eggs’ and I have to be in a certain frame of mind to write, or I end up having to re-write.

Out of the blue, the same stream of consciousness that tells me that it is time to write, told me that it was time to re-edit the manuscript for Chamberlain’s Folly. Before I realized it, I had hacked and slashed around 11,000 words.

It is amazing me what a set of really fresh eyes can spot in a manuscript you would have sworn was the best it would ever be six months ago. I found plenty of dialog and exposition that I could cut without anesthesia. It was more like a shave or haircut – not even as uncomfortable as clipping my nails or flossing.

I’m now down to 153,533 words with 15 chapters left to edit. I should make in inside the limit for the CreateSpace contest for next year without a problem, but that isn’t my only goal. I plan to sell the CF manuscript to a publisher.

It will take at least one final edit after this one, and I can see that I will be making some changes in the narrative to clean up a couple of chapters that I think I can re-do much better now. I hope to get the length down to 120,000 words without cutting out any important character developments.

Wish me luck. I’ll keep you informed.

One more thing. If you are really interested in a copy of Chamberlain’s Folly in it’s current form, act quickly. I will be removing this version when I re-publish the revised edition. I plan to wait until I finish the second book so I can publish them together on SmashWords some time just before Christmas.

I got a notice from Amazon DTP that my novel, Chamberlain’s Folly, is now available from the Kindle Store at Amazon-DE (Germany). My book hasn’t been translated into German yet (so far as I know) so this intrigued me. I went to check it out over the weekend and was interested to find that many younger readers are starved for English-language reading.

I’ll let you know how it goes.