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All about the ins and outs of writing

At Last, A Novella

The Lunch, a painting by Diego Velazquez, from Diego

The Lunch, a painting by Diego Velazquez, from Diego

Well at last I got something published. The title is The Art Critics and the story takes place in New Orleans before Katrina. OK it was only an e-book and I never was able to find an agent and I only published a quarter of my final manuscript, but all-in-all, I’m satisfied with the effort. Above you will see the image I used (stole really) for the frontispiece, but painter, Diego Velazquez has been dead for over 75 years, so this image should be part of the public domain. Here’s the lowdown on the long drawn out process that resulted in my 20,000 word novella that’s now available on Smashwords and will eventually be added to Amazon. Maybe there’s a little tidbit of  information here that you might find helpful.

The whole process started roughly four years ago, when I wrote a short story by the same name. Then about a year later, when I had accumulated enough short stories, I decided to tie them all together into something that might resemble a novel. I don’t know if this was a good idea or not, for the completed manuscript never did quite acquire the feeling of being a continuous story.

Nonetheless two years ago, I begin the process of querying agents. That was the fun part but it too ended up with minimum results. Over 75 queries sent out and only two partial requests and one full. A year ago I vowed I would start a new book length project, but at this point all I have to show for it is a very thorough 11,ooo word outline and a rough draft that only encompasses about a third of the book.

Rewriting is everything. I don’t know how many times I’m rewritten this first section, but I’m sure it’s in the double digits. The last one occurred this morning and lasted about five hours, but the time also included redoing the e-book cover and formatting the text. If you can afford it hire a copy editor, for there is nothing worse than publishing a poorly edited story or novel.

A cover is a must also, for without one it will be hard to entice readers. Make it snappy, but don’t get carried away with outlandish graphics.

Well, there it is in a nutshell, but in reality there’s a lot more to say about the quickly developing reality of e-books.

New Orleans Panoramic by M. Lamar Griffin, Sr. from Wikipedia

New Orleans Panoramic by M. Lamar Griffin, Sr. from Wikipedia

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