Thursday, 11 October 2012

Book 1 finished!

I had to rewrite the past chapter, then the editor tweaked the last paragraph, but it's finally done. With rewrites, I have probably typed 80,000 words in the last four weeks. On Tuesday and Wednesday I felt dreadful - well, 'deadful' would have described it better. I had aches and pains all over, I felt sick, I had a headache, stomach pains and my fingers were so sore, I thought I would never be able to type another word again.

And then the commissioning editor dropped a bombshell: he wanted Book 2 finished and on his desk by 9th November! I burst into tears when I got the email, as I knew I just couldn't carry on writing at this pace without a break. I emailed him back saying I just couldn't do it by that date... that I needed a couple of weeks off to recover and recharge my batteries. Fortunately, he has agreed, so it will probably be the end of November.

The provisional title is the title I gave it when I wrote the original book about seven years ago: PERFECT LIVES. The new version bears little resemblance to the first manuscript. Even the writing style is different. All that remains of the original are the names, the basic plot and a couple of paragraphs I have been able to copy and paste into the new book. Hachette, the publisher, plan to release it as an e-book at Christmas and follow it up with Book 2 in the New Year. The price will be £3.99. If there are sufficient downloads - 10,000 is the target, they will then publish a print version. I really want to see it in print, so I hope people will buy it, and that will depend on what kind of publicity they give it.

Mr Grumpy is buying me a Kindle for Christmas and birthday combined, so I can read my own book - and, of course, buy all the e-books my friends have written! I've been dying to do that for ages.


On Tuesday I took my painful fingers to be looked at by an orthopaedic consultant at Hillingdon Hospital. What a performance! Having waited half an hour to be seen, I was sent off for an x-ray. I came back, waited to be seen again, and lo and behold, they wanted my hands x-rayed at a different angle. So back I went again, waited for the x-ray, came back, waited to be seen again... and that wasn't the right angle, either. so back I went to x-ray again... Finally, with the right x-ray having been sent to the consultant's computer, he had a look, shook his head, said my hands are horribly arthritic and he could only give me a new finger joint on one finger, even though I have three that need one urgently as they won't bend any more. Not only that, he said unless I was prepared to give up typing and playing the piano and anything else that required using my fingers too much, it wasn't worth doing it as it would last less than two years and he wouldn't be able to re-do it.

So that's that. Sooner or later, my fingers will fuse in a rigid position and then the pain should stop. I have thought about Speech Recognition Software, but someone I know used it to write a book and said it never managed to learn his voice properly and the amount of corrections he had to do meant that it would have been easier to type it in the first place.

For the last two days I have been smothering my fingers in Glucosamine Gel and putting arnica gel on at night. Today, they don't feel too bad. In fact, I have just typed out a timeline for Book 2. Onwards and upwards!


joanne fox said...

Well done on all that hard work! No wonder your fingers are complaining. I know a couple of people who do use that voice recognition system and they both find it saves them a certain amount of work, although there is still some correcting to do. I don't think it's all that expensive to buy, so maybe it would be worth you trying it to see how you get on.

Caroline said...

Well done on finishing the book - what an uphill struggle! Hugs on the hands too - I've got a bit of "Arthur" starting and it's no fun. Caroline x

Perovskia said...

Yes, perhaps the correcting will still be less if you'd written it all yourself? Maybe give the software a try?

Glad things are looking up. Look at you go! :)

Jacula said...

Well done on getting all that done! I'm very proud of you. Sorry to hear it's taken such a toll on your poor hands. I'd have a go with the word recognition software, if I were you. Failing that, you'll have to get a dictaphone and let me type it up for you. xx