So I’m working on The Bride of War today. I’ve said that many, many times over the last few years. The first draft is complete. Has been for years. I’ve been dickering with it, tweaking the prologue and trying to get to the two or three chapters of rewrites I know the book has been needing since pretty much the day I typed THE END, one night in December of 2007.
It’s a hard novel to revisit because I’ve been warring with the conviction that it can’t possibly be ‘finished’, given that I still have a few things to fix, because people told me they didn’t like what I did here and there. I probably wouldn’t worry too much about that, except that it’s the first novel I’ve ever completed and submitted to publishers. And it was turned down by two of them. I’m pretty sure neither of those publishers (both of whom I’d carefully selected based on their submission policies and what I’d read from them in the past) actually read even the start of the novel.
That’s alright. I knew the prologue was flabby, even when I’d submitted it (the first time around). I’m pretty sure that’s been fixed. It’s not meant to start with a battle sequence or assassination. It starts with a mystery that turns out to be a delayed revelation of tragedy. It’s a travelogue disguised as a supernatural event in the offing. It doesn’t feel like a prologue, precisely. It could probably be placed anywhere in the book and still make a certain amount of sense. However, that peculiar sense of story shape I have tells me it belongs at the start, quietly opening the tale before the build up to the fireworks.
The plan now is to finish the novel and tweak its layout and cover art for an EPUB file, which I will distribute myself through Amazon or some such. It’s time to finally face facts that I don’t really want to wait years for this book to be read. I have many other books lining up to be completed. Time to start behaving like a professional and just get the books out the door. I don’t have to wait for an editor to approve my work. The new reality is, if I do, I’ll starve. The future of novel writing is in eBook sales, plain and simple. I’m good with that.
Never really had fantasies about being in print, believe it or not. I think I’ve always wanted to be a strictly digital author anyway. My fantasies have always involved my books being read on a screen of some sort, whether it was on a tablet or a wrist watch or a set of goggles. I think the happiest technology I’ve read about, in terms of books, is e-Ink. I’m waiting for colour e-Ink readers to finally hit the shelves. Not LED tablets. Too bright. I’m old. Reading back-lit screens is work. Books shouldn’t hurt your eyes. Reading should be comfortable for however long you do it. That’s the big secret, kids. Excessively easy on the eyes, like Andie MacDowell.
So yeah, gonna be self-publishing shortly. Makes so much sense, it’s silly, really. And with the business model coming around to self-publishing, it’s really the only way to go. No offense to agents and editors, but really, you didn’t want me anyway, so I’ll just make due without you.
I should be working. Also, my lovely wife is reinstalling my desktop computer, and she sounds vexed by something. Time I should be going. Thanks for reading.