The Novel in Progress

Progress report on the current novel, work in progress:

The original manuscript is 245 pages, close to 73 thousand words, double spaced, 12 pt. font. as one does.

Editing. Re-writing. Added two chapters to the beginning, one new character. I have given the book a new title, taken from an old poem of my very own which will be included in the novel. ( I have to say that it is a wonderful thing, to have that skill, to be able to write a line or two of poetry here and there where fitting, pretty nice. It’s also nice to have three decades of material to draw from.)

I’ve got the basic formatting done, which is to 6×9 scale, page/book size, title page, all that, page breaks. Today I realized that I needed to change the font style and size for the entire manuscript, before I went any further, and, nervously, got that done. Things that I wouldn’t have to do if I wasn’t self-publishing. But I’m digging that part, I’m learning, and I like being my own boss, being able to keep to my own vision. It is a process that will go faster and require less time as I learn more of how to do it myself.  Remembering now, having formatted books of poetry in years past, which is much more tedious and detailed, that I have to allow time for that learning curve because it’s a lot of new stuff. I’m trying to do things in such a way so that I don’t have a lot to redo or fix at the end at least formatting wise, because there are still at least two more complete read-throughs, edits, for me to do with a red pen before I’m ready to let anyone else see it. I’ll go over the proof with a red pen first as well.

I’m on page 78 of the original manuscript, and that’s page 145 of the reformatted for publication manuscript. What that means is that this is going to go 300 pages or more, depending on how it all shakes out.

Which is why I almost threw in the towel on it again today, having hit a rough patch with it, this was a difficult book to write as it was, and that is also why I am not going to quit on it. I’ve set a goal, a deadline, and I am doing this. 
Three hundred pages is, well, that’s “real” book size, as in things just got real. That is substantial. That is also a lesson to keep in mind for future novels. Both of my novellas were right around forty thousand words and that might be a better target to try to keep to but the stories go for as long as they go. Three hundred pages is a serious piece of fiction. 

This process is also giving me an appreciation again for what I do as work, not just as my art or my work, but as work. This is a lot of work. I’m tired. Things are starting to get a little weird with it all, which is what happens when I’m deep into something like this. I’m getting slightly behind on chores, though that has more to do with still recovering from an injury, and in the midst of all of that, I’m trying to maintain some balance. I’m trying to take time to do other things, to be outside and enjoy the summer, to live, I’m changing a lot of habits. More water, less wine, more exercise, better for me food, fewer steaks less beef, more chicken, fish, lighter, healthier, particular, that sort of thing. Kind of a lot going on there with that. Trying to take more time to read.

I believe that I’ve written a really good book, that people will enjoy it. I’m looking forward to making that book available for purchase. As for when that deadline is that I’ve set, I think I’ll keep that to myself for the time being. Maybe share that when this bun in the oven is a little further along. It’s been some tough days with it. I think that I’m into the place of, This is really a lot of work and I am really doing this now. But it’s good though. As much as it has changed for me over the last few years, I still love being a writer.
On I go. 

~ Teri Skultety

I didn’t proof read this post. I’ve been proof reading for many hours. 

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