From Conception, To Print – 75,000 Novel Words How Amazing! by Katrina Deverill
Many authors have their own path to 75,000 amazing novel words. Now that’s a mystery in itself. My chosen route starts with an idea. Call it a lightbulb moment, usually at around 4am when the sane people of this world are fast asleep. From then on, all I can think about is my next mystery novel! But then again, if you’re a reader of mysteries, which I write, then don’t expect any level of sanity from me. By the time the first twinkle of an idea arrives, the vampiric clinch of insanity has weaselled its way into my mind. My main character’s name seems to appear as if by magic at this point and from there on the story becomes theirs, plot and all. But from conception, to print takes time…
What comes next is a range of blood thirsty murders, a lot of Google searches that would get most people arrested are undertaken at this stage and then a plot starts to appear, misdirection, more characters and a range of clues, followed by a nasty little twist. But there’s no point in taking my word for it. You’ll need to read one or two to get my drift.
But once started, I am no longer in control. As I said, the main character becomes the dominant partner in writing the work in progress (WIP) stakes! The title has a habit of appearing fairly early in the process, and as in The GOD.docx File, Jeremy John a vicar and soon to be vigilante, finds a file that answers a question he has searched long and hard to find the answer to. GOD here stands for Grim Obsidian Data, hacked from a suspicious site on the dark web by someone he meets along the way. But let’s be clear, the contents prove that not everything labelled GOD comes with a halo. Sometimes there is a darker element at play and this list is twisted in so many ways. But let’s get back to the writing…
The WIP goes through many processes. It’s not enough to write a story and type The End.
The writing, in bare bones, comes first. Each chapter is a short and succinct piece of the story, and when the WIP is complete at this stage, it will stand at around 35,000 not so amazing words. Now the full cast takes over, and it’s no longer down to Jeremy to fill in the blanks because we have a few more central influencers hanging around for the bun fight to follow.
And of course, no story would be complete without an antagonist or two, and The GOD.docx File by Katrina Deverill was no different. Let me tell you, I had sleepless nights knowing the things that Jeremy didn’t know and it pained me; after all, these are my children, even the ones that in fiction, age with me, or even exceed my considerable number.
The dialogue always requires repair. It sounds great in my head, but when read aloud can become sticky and uncomfortable, it’s then added to, deleted, or replaced. By the time the WIP has undergone its first rewrite, it may stand at around 75,000–80,000 novel words, but it could be a whole lot more. I don’t write the 100,000 plus amazing novel sagas, preferring to keep to the 70 – 80,000 word novel. My series run along the 60,000—65,000 words, however, you’ll notice a few are shorter reads and this was intentional on my part; after all, the story only needed to be told.
Once considered complete, there are the edits. Spelling, grammar, and typos to correct, and even after a good few read throughs, I’ll still be finding mistakes but (hopefully) they are all corrected at this point and any line edits are refined and included. Only then is the WIP almost ready to unleash on the world.
With an unpublished manuscript, edited and formatted, we now require a cover, and this is where it can become very expensive. Most authors fork out for a designer to do this, and in the beginning I did too, but it only pushes the final book price up and so now I design these myself and along with a title and strap line, we are almost ready to go!
Just not yet. I have to send it to a small group of readers who look for plot holes, missed typos (yes they can still exist) and anything that raises an issue, such as something that appears out of sequence or some backstory one of my characters failed to reveal; yes, it happens, as hard as I try to ensure it’s perfect.
Now it appears to be ready, although to publish without a fanfare would be a crime in itself and the only mystery would be; where did that novel disappear to? So, a marketing plan must be devised to tell everyone all about the launch of the upcoming novel using Social media posts, some advertising, and the inevitable cover reveal. These must all take place with a publication date in mind, but usually about a month to six weeks in advance, with pre-order copies available for the big day.
Realeasing a new book is like having a baby, a wonderful event that causes much pain and suffering, but which the memories of subside as the first copies are purchased and read. With a growing family of books, my own needs are simple and as long as I have readers, I will continue to suffer for as long as I must!
I must say, not every writer takes this approach. There are many ways to plan and write a new book. Some just type until the story comes to a natural conclusion, others meticulously plan every chapter and use a board to keep track of the events as they unfold. Although, I too do this, it’s not on a board but in a notebook, which is always full to overflowing during the process.
If vigilante justice is your thing, The GOD.docx File is available to purchase on AMAZON and many great resellers through Books2Read. Or you can enter an ONLINE COMPETITION to WIN a BOOK Of YOUR CHOICE from any one of my portfolio or wait for the next BIG launch of EVIDENTLY WRONG out soon! CLICK THE LINK HERE TO ENTER THE NEXT eBook GIVEAWAY…
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