Tuesday, June 17, 2014

So, How's the Book Going? Part 8

The first draft of the book is still chugging along.  My Muse is getting more loquacious, but I really want to stop this book before or at 100,000 words.  More than that and I think I'll tax even the most tolerant of a reader's patience.

One bit of Sherlock Holmes legal news to report: All of the Sherlock Holmes stories EXCEPT for The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes (the last one) have been declared part of the public domain.  That's pretty good because the license fee from the Doyle estate starts at a minimum of $5000.  Now, I can see the Doyle estate getting steamed over non-canonical Sherlock Holmes books that suck.  Hell, even I wanted to sue the authors after I read these books. And that crap got published!

I'm debating whether to just go ahead and do an e-book or try to submit to a traditional publisher.  The big problem is that my parents are in their 70s and I'm not too sure how long they have left.  It'd be nice for them to read this thing before they die.

And yes, I know that 99.9% of all traditional publishers do not accept unsolicited manuscripts. However, these do:

So far I think my best bet is the e-book format.  I have to wrap up this blog post, as my Muse is muttering again.  Until then, here's a little video I put together during a brief spell of writer's block:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

So How's the Book Going? Part 7

The book seems to be rolling along but I could use a vacation.  It's now at about 70,000 words long. I've done some reformatting so hopefully that will translate well with Amazon Kindle's ebook download program.  It's a bit daunting to face the end of this draft.  After that is editing and then we're off to the races.  I get to face mind-boggling choices like what to use for a cover and do I really need to add an acknowledgements page?

But what's been really tiring has been working with my Muse (pictured, left (actually, it's a picture of Jeremy Brett, but anyway...)).  He's turned into a real slave-driver.  He is still only revealing the story bit by bit instead of a whole grand overview.  He does not always reveal the story while I'm at the keyboard.  Sometimes he talks when I walk the dogs, do the washing up or when I'm trying to sleep.  He especially likes the last option.

Successful writers like Stephen King advise writers to lay down the first draft as quickly as possible.  My Muse is not so keen on that idea.  He always wants me to go back and fix errors so sometimes I wind up writing a sentence three or four times before he grudgingly allows me to go on.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm not "hearing voices."  Yet his is quite insistent.  I can see where the idea of demon possession came from.

And now he says that I've taken up too much time here and have to get back at it.  See you when I see you.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

So, How's the Book Going, Part 6

And I'm happy to report that after 5 or 6 months, I've been able to dive back into my Sherlock Holmes manuscript.  It's been so long since I've looked at it that I'd forgotten half of it.  This time I reworked a chapter, fixed some plot problems and added two new chapters.  I've also made a new file to reformat the manuscript so it can have page numbers, double-spacing, indentation and all of that happy crappy.

I have managed to give Peter Gabriel a cameo in the book, although I'm not sure about the legality of that.  I think I'll just throw that out on the blogosphere and see if anyone from PG's camp screams obscenities at me. If they don't, I'm going to assume that I'm good to go.

Mom asked me an interesting question, "Is it any good?"

Now, how the heck am I supposed to answer that?  The worst person to ask about the quality of a piece of art is the artist herself/himself.  It's not like the artist can be coldly objective.

I finally got to see Peter Gabriel inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I'm surprised he bothered to show up (he didn't when his old group Genesis was inducted.)  He even toted along Wife Number Two and Kids Three and Four for the ride.  My Mom was impressed with PG's speech.  She has never been impressed with his most laudable music, fantastic singing abilities or even with the dazzling videos of the 1980s and 1990s.  But she liked this speech.

Mom told me, "Pretend Peter is talking to you about your book." 

Um, cute idea, Mom, but no.  His speech was clearly not intended for anyone trying to hammer out a first book.   I've got to get back to work on the manuscript.  Anyway, here's his speech, filmed by someone in the audience.  The actual speech was much longer than what was shown on HBO, which heavily edited PG's segment.