After more than three years of writing Forever Changed, I was finally able to take a moment and just enjoy the ride. I’m happy to say the first draft of Forever Changed is complete! But, I only took a moment. More celebration will have to wait until I hold that first copy in my hands. Even though the first draft is finally complete, there is a long ways to go.
Reviewing the notes from Elizabeth, who is currently editing the book, there are a lot of areas that need a little more attention. She makes a lot of great points – some areas that need to be expanded, others explained differently, and in some cases an entire chapter added for background. . She’ll ask, “what does this mean?” and I’ll look and realize it makes sense to me (because the book is alive in my head), but the reader would never know. Or there are themes that begin, but are never concluded. The opposite also holds true. “What’s the background story with this person? They seemed to pop up from nowhere.” And she’s right. More background is needed. It’s one thing to say that two people have a strong friendship, but another to actually let you, the reader, come to that conclusion by reading about their relationship. All these things need to be addressed while writing the second draft.
I noticed the same thing as I progressed through the book. While writing, the book naturally took me in a certain directions, some anticipated, but others that I didn’t expect when I began. The novel naturally evolved. Now, I need to go back to the beginning, paint the picture, and provide additional background so the beginning makes sense with the themes that emerged. There is even one chapter that I will probably remove altogether. It’s a good chapter, but could possibly distract from the overall message of the novel. The last thing I would want is for one chapter to change the meaning or become the focal point, when it wasn’t intended that way.
So, what are the next steps?
First, I plan to go through and read the entire book from start to finish, making my own notes, without first referencing Elizabeth’s critiques. Then, I’ll take both of our notes and begin revising and editing, chapter by chapter. Once that is complete, I’ll read it from cover to cover once more and hopefully it’ll be ready for the printing press. While that is happening, I’ll also be continuing my conversations with different publishers, sending out manuscripts, writing ghost blogs, and doing a number of things to get the message out about the book. Even though that’s not as much fun as the writing part, it’s important to actually be able to sell the book and continue to grow the reading audience. Most of you probably never knew that I actually ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book when I started writing. It failed miserably. Only one person pre-ordered – my wife. The reason it failed is simple. I never did what I’m doing now – never promoted the book, never wrote in this blog, nothing. Honestly, I’m not sure what I expected. Maybe I was hoping it would take off like so many unexpected things on the Internet. The truth is that rarely happens. But I learned in the process and I’m still learning. My hope is that it will be more successful this time around.
On that note, I want to thank everyone that has pre-ordered Forever Changed. Amazingly, we’re up to over 50 pre-orders and almost double that number that have expressed interest. You are what motivates me to keep going and make sure that everything is perfect before publishing. Thank you so very much for your support.
If you haven’t pre-ordered and you’d like to, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the list. Then, you’ll be among the first to get the message when it’s completed and ready to order. Pre-ordering is free and easy.