Sometimes I’d like to get bored. In this life.
The good news: After all the fun Steve and I had with the ketchup and shower curtains (what are you thinking? I’m talking creating a book cover, see my last post), I had to accept that there are things that I can not do. That’s been the roughest awakening I’ve had since I was five and my neighbor Cipri showed me how he could write his name in the snow. I couldn’t.
A man’s got to accept her limitations, so I outsourced the cover. For $25, the cover designer made it better than I could have dreamed for.
Now that I had a cover, I thought I had a book. Nope.
My Writer’s Digest editor told me that I didn’t. He spent a lot of time and many pixels to convince me.
“I’m unsure why you used this as a prologue. Is there a reason the reader needs to see him take the pills? Even if there is, if you have a prologue at all, it should be to create a sense of ominousness, a sense of looming danger, if you want this to satisfy thriller readers.”
He got more upset as things progressed – or failed to.
“I’m not sure of the importance of all this backstory, but at any rate, I don’t think you need to put it in here, when the story needs to take off. Save this for later and get some conflict going.”
And more upset still.
“Your email suggested that you hoped to market this as a medical thriller, so most of my comments, both here and in the line-edit comments, are made with that in mind. This is much too slow starting for a modern mainstream thriller. Readers tend to be impatient. If you can’t draw them into a captivating story relatively soon, they will soon lose interest, put your book down, and download something else. Fifty pages in, you are only beginning to get the main plot off the ground, and we only have rudimentary hints of any danger or threatening situation. That needs to change.”
Building up to a hemorrhagic stroke, in the grips of frustration he slashed 1,987 commas, added another 1,785 (elsewhere), capitalized words that I hadn’t, decapitated those that I had, and expunged every “was”, “is” and “are” in the book.
“You might hiss an “s” but you can’t hiss entire sentences.”
“Well, Mr. Editor, you don’t know me. I can! Just listen to me now!”
I was devastated. I thought I had a book. Turns out I didn’t. Not the book today’s thriller reader’s looking for.
I took a long walk. I had a drink. Another. Make it two.
I started carving the book like I’ll carve the Thanksgiving turkey. I threw away the prologue as if it was the gizzard. I sliced the beginning and moved it to the middle. I nested the creeps between the slices as if I was displaying the legs on top of the sliced breast. I moved the wings to the back.
I ended up with a Picasso interpretation of what my book used to be.
I discovered that you can’t do audio before publishing and that making it available for preorder is a MUST if you hope to get noticed.
Since I hope to get noticed. I bit the bullet, I wrote a book description. I showed it to my friends. They laughed. I wrote another. I placed the book for preorder.
D day is January 18.
All I have to do now is write the book. And fix the gravy.
I need ten Amazon reviewers. The rules say that I can’t compensate you, but I can send you an advance copy to review. Any takers?
Love to you all, and very, very special thanks to those who preordered it. I’ll make it up to you!
The struggling author.