RCC Update – Sprouting The Seed – Progress with My First Novel

Sow-thistle seed head, Wellington, New Zealand

Sow-thistle seed head, Wellington, New Zealand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been very remiss in keeping my RCC updates up to date, or interacting on the RCC blog itself – so apologies first to my wonderful fellow RCCers!

The reason for the absence from this part of blogging is based on the key challenge I originally outlined for my membership – how to juggle a blog, getting novels published and a job and still have a life, LOL! πŸ™‚

Still, each day brings me closer to certain key goals. This week I received from lulu.com the draft cover art design and the first full proof of the first novel I am going to publish, The Seed. I now need to spend the weekend ahead going through it to see what revisions, if any, are necessary before it is published. I’ve done lots of editing of the original manuscript, so I hope it’s relatively few revisions needed, but I’ve never done this part of the process before so I have no idea how long it may take – I presume even if there are few changes one would need to thoroughly read the manuscript over again, and the novel is over 100,000 words, so that takes time I suppose. Maybe those who have done this before have tips to streamline it effectively – any advice would be most welcome!

What this means is I may not be around the wordpress blogging world as much as usual this weekend. I’ll try to drop by at least once a day to keep up if I can, but if it seems that I am gone from the ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ side of things, please bear with me – I’m absent for a good reason, not for neglecting my fellow bloggers!! You’ll still see a couple of poems a day as I’ve written and scheduled them quite a few weeks ahead, and I’ll try to at least keep up with comments from those kind enough to read them, but I think this weekend will be quite insular and focussed – more about editing than creativity, more about isolation than community.

Hopefully the next post on this subject will show a cover reveal and some advance publicity on what the novel is about etc. I’m hoping to publish in the first couple of weeks of August and lulu.com at this stage think that’s a realistic timeframe – I suppose we shall see. πŸ™‚

The Seed is all about the birth of a relationship from shared mythologies, dreams and beliefs. Birthing the novel itself has a similar feeling to it. I feel at this point like the seed is starting to sprout. It’s exciting and scary all at once. Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive to date – I shall rely on your kindness and guidance going forward!

So if you don’t see a lot of me over the next few days, I shall be back, and I look forward to diving back into our wonderful community then!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Cheers

Helen

About helenvalentina

Like most people, I have a number of sides to me. The most interesting one probably emerges through my writing, hence this blog. I love to read, and also to write, and so this is a way to share both.
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37 Responses to RCC Update – Sprouting The Seed – Progress with My First Novel

  1. lala1966 says:

    I am sure that your novel will be a success! You are a great writer! the only advice I could give on revisions is get a pair of fresh eyes to look it over. Sometimes when we know what we are saying it is easy to overlook fine points that might be confusing to others. I am sure you will do great!

    • Thanks so much – I’m hoping my editor picked up most of what might be confusing, but I am finding things that could be fixed as I go through, so I suppose each revision makes things better. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • thegodspark says:

      This is exactly what I was going to say. πŸ™‚

      • thegodspark says:

        Helenvalentina, I haven’t read any of the other comments yet so this may have already been said and if it has please forgive me for saying it again- for people that go through the traditional publishing path there are many editors and jr. editors that oversee the final product. There are different types of editors. The main editor usually comments on the piece as a whole and gives advice for changes to the author. The author then decides whether or not they will make those changes. After the author is done revising there is another type of editor that looks at the work, a copy editor. The copy editor makes suggestions about grammar and usage. After these comments are seen by the writer this is often the final revision. And then the writer sends it into the publisher and they publish the book. I know of famous writers though that hire continuity editors to go over their manuscripts to make sure that that aspect of the novel is altogether. Since you are doing this the self-publishing route I strongly recommend that you get as many of your friends that you trust and value their opinion as you can to read your manuscript. Sometimes it takes a village. You are a terrific writer and I can not wait to buy a copy of your book. I am so proud of you for finishing a novel, way to go!

      • Thank you so much – I’ve had the manuscript assessment and copy editing done, and I changed the structure a fair bit from the first assessment, so now I’m just trying to proof read it. Friends have read various versions of it as it developed, though none for many years as I first drafted it over ten years ago and have just revised an updated it this year with a view to publishing. I think it is about done now, but I guess the world will decide – or at least those in the world that read it! thanks for your support dear friend! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      • Thank you!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  2. Yay for you! I agree with lala1966 – fresh eyes are good. There is a tendency to read what we “think” it says instead of what it really says.

    • I know – that’s what I’m worried about, I’m a bad proof reader. Still so far I’ve picked up a few things as I go through, and I do know the original manuscript was professionally edited, so hopefully I’ll pick up whatever might be left or was lost or modified in translation in the ebook formatting. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  3. Brian Hughes says:

    The best piece of editing advice I can give is to hand over a printed copy to somebody else, with a red marker pen. They’ll know better than you which bits are going on too long, are over explained, over poetic etc. It can be a brutal experience, but the main difficult we tend to have as authors is that we, naturally, like every single word we’ve written. Other people (i.e. the readers) might see it differently…although, inevitably, a few arguments tend to spring up during the process.

    • Thanks – I got a professional editor to do that some time ago, so I’ve gone through that pain, LOL, and really she was very gentle and very wise! This part is after they’ve done the first formatting and you have to painstakingly proofread and seek out errors or things you or the editor missed first time round. Still it’s important to be thorough – it’s just that proof reading has never been my strong suit!! πŸ™‚

      • Brian Hughes says:

        Proof reading’s horrible. You’ll still miss at least half a dozen typos, I’ll bet. Give it a couple of years and you’ll read it again and that’s when you’ll find them. Or somebody will write you a letter pointing them out, when it’s way too late to do anything about it.

      • Very true – I think in the end you just go over it as carefully as you can then you have to let it go… its probably impossible to find every mistake, and you’re right, someone else will, and that’s life I guess!! πŸ™‚

  4. Good for you. Don’t worry about us we like you no matter what!!

  5. Green Embers says:

    Helen I am so excited!! What a great update! As to the RCC blog… if you can get there cool but there might be technical difficulties which I am trying to sort through… I’m working on it, lol.

    • OK cool – I probably don’t have much time to post this weekend anyway, as I said, just popping in now to reply to comments, before I go back to the work at hand. πŸ™‚

  6. ioniamartin says:

    You! You no worry about us. We! We worry for you. You write!

  7. Geo Sans says:

    excellent news
    ~
    enjoy the process
    and
    take care

  8. jamieb2013 says:

    Good luck with the book – keen to hear how yoy find lulu – took me a while to figure it out and the basics of format etc! Cheers J

    • Thank you – I purchased on of their publishing packages as I was a bit daunted by the prospect of formatting the book myself, plus I needed a cover design artist anyway. So far they’ve been fabulous. The process I’m doing now is going through the galley of the book and then the cover to note any changes I want. It’s laborious but important, and exciting. It makes the publishing feel very close now!! My next task after it is published via lulu is to reformat text et al for Amazon kindle. πŸ™‚

      • jamieb2013 says:

        Ahhh – I went the solo route – in hindsight I maybe should have done the same as you – but happy with final book despite the frustrations!! Cheers J

  9. elorayne says:

    How totally exciting!!! I cannot wait to purchase it. Congratulations!! Enjoy your weekend working on it. Sounds fantastic. Best, Elizabeth

  10. Bri says:

    Make it happen

  11. David M. Green says:

    I know exactly what you mean. Overtime has started to kick in at work and I’ve been using my free time to begin publishing my poetry and short stories on Amazon so I haven’t been around here as much as I used to be either. My Amazon author page is up and running: https://www.amazon.com/author/dmgreen

  12. landl30 says:

    all the best,
    Len

  13. Noora says:

    Yay! How exciting, Helen! Happy editing!! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks – it’s a process…about half way through now I think…just popping in to the blog to reply to comments and hopefully catch up on a few fellow blogger posts before getting back into it! πŸ™‚

  14. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!! So exciting! Big hugs, Sis!!

  15. Congratulations at being so close to the finish line πŸ™‚ Exciting things afoot!

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