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What I'm writing

I'm finishing up the fourth draft of my novel-in-progress, Wheatyard. For almost three years now I've been carrying a hard copy of the manuscript (bound in a navy blue Mead binder) to and from work in my messenger bag, for it to be handy should the editing whim strike me while I'm riding the train. That copy is now heavily marked up, and also supplemented by a newer notebook where I've been jotting ideas and longer revisions as they've come to me. During the past few months I've been transcribing all of those edits into a new Word file on my laptop, but even seeing all those words on a screen hasn't prevented me from feeling (undoubtedly aided by the constant presence of that messy hard copy and notebook) that the book is still an unruly mess that's far from completion.

That is, until this morning. I'm still working on one critical section (in the second-to-last chapter, and what I think of as "the revelation scene"), which I wanted to print out in order to do further revisions. However, our home printer recently ran out of ink, so I emailed the document to myself so I could print it out at the office. (Relax, Employer, it's only ten pages and not the entire manuscript.) On the train this morning, while checking email on my iPhone I came upon that self-sent message, and opened up the Word file. And up it popped, looking neat and tidy and not unlike several published ebooks that I've been perusing on my phone.

Immediately it occurred to me that, indeed, this does look like a book. And reading through it, the writing is good. GOOD. Not perfect yet, but good. I now realize that I'm a lot closer to finishing this book than I had assumed. In another month it should be ready to send to publishers. Hurray!

March 15, 2011 in Fiction, Wheatyard | Permalink


Excellent! Sometimes you just need a different perspective. (And the new printer should be here in a day or two.)

Posted by: Julie at Mar 15, 2011 10:34:49 AM

I have found it refreshing to read my story files in different settings from where I have written and rewritten them. Maybe a change in perspective is what you've been needing for a while.

Posted by: Paul at Mar 15, 2011 7:35:48 PM

I guess it's a blessing in disguise (for me, anyway) that Staples didn't have the printer in stock last week.

Posted by: Pete at Mar 16, 2011 4:37:21 PM

When the book is published and (if?) you do a tour, please come to Tampa so you can sign my copy.

I love your method of keeping the manuscript in a binder. I'll remember that for myself. It's one of those things that's so simple it never would've occurred to me.

Posted by: Brandon at Mar 17, 2011 2:05:15 AM

Brandon, I really appreciate your interest, but that might indeed be an "if." I can't imagine this book being published with anything other than a small press, which probably won't have the money to finance an extensive book tour. I think a self-financed tour of the bigger cities in the Midwest should be feasible, but I'm not sure about the Southeast. Then again, maybe I could piggyback a special Tampa reading atop a future Disneyworld visit.

Posted by: Pete at Mar 17, 2011 9:15:16 AM