August 28, 2010

Publishing Merry-go-round

Prior to heading off on a three-week holiday in Queensland and Melbourne I have competed yet another rewrite/ edit of my fourth novel and printed it out to take with me and have my partner read. Previously I have shown only the first five chapters to anyone.

This is the novel that began its life as a short story and I morphed into a novel during Write A Novel in a Month last November, and wrote about in earlier blogs. I’ve been experimenting with writing in the present tense, and with other aspects of my writing. I’m still not satisfied with the ending to this novel, but the rest of the story is probably done — which doesn’t exclude more rewriting, just means that I think the story elements are there. There is a lot more plot than in the short story, but the key idea of the short story is central to the novel.

It’s around fifty thousand words, which is short for a novel, long for a novella, but that seems to be the size it is. There could be one more chapter, but I’m not convinced about that. The novel doesn’t have a title yet. I call the files of various drafts ‘Ann’ because that’s the name of the protagonist, but I don’t think that will be the title of the book. The current file is Ann15.

I don’t know yet what I’ll do about publishing it. The whole publishing business is in a state of flux. Fewer and fewer big publishing houses control more and more of what one might call ‘mainstream’ publishing, the smaller presses can afford less editing/ marketing support, and so on and on. Self-publishing is less denigrated than it was, ebooks are a potential; options, maybe, certainly a tangled web for writers.

The writing group I am part of is in the process of self-publishing a book of our writings, to be called Out To Lunch. The title relates to group members being lesbians, the fact that we meet on Sundays with a shared lunch, and us all liking the idea of being a bit crazy. We have some funding from a local trust and from one of our members who sadly died last year and help from friends and relations with cover design and typesetting. It will be published at the end of November.

I’m enjoying working with a group on this project. And, I suspect — hope —that when we have Out To Lunch out there I will have decided what to do with my novel.

In my last post I quoted a couple of lines of my poetry in the short story I added. Just for fun, here is a version of the same quote using my slowly-developing calligraphy skills.

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