Friday, June 24, 2011

Write, Then Write Some More

You know, I really shouldn't complain. I'm a lucky guy.

As some of you know, I sent my book to a publisher earlier this month, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will be in the bookstores later this fall. I'm over the moon about this. Songsaengnim: A Korea Diary has been on my plate for almost 10 years (my full-time job and two kids took precedence) and it's nice to know that it's finally getting out there. Soon.

When I sent the book to my publisher, I sort of forgot that they would be reading the book and providing me with an editorial assessment. A comprehensive review of how they feel the flow, pace, structure, plot, grammar, and other elements of the book work: what they feel is good and how they think areas can be improved. The publishers want to help me reach the book's full potential, and I really appreciate a professional opinion of my work.

Last week, I received my assessment, but because I was so busy at work I didn't have a chance to look at it until the weekend, and wasn't even able to start addressing the recommendations until Tuesday.

I found the feedback quite eye-opening. Most of the feedback was positive. The editor particularly liked the characterization and dialogue. For the most part, the editor liked the structure, plot, and pace of the story. I was happy to receive this news. I had worked very hard on the main characters—heck, some of them are based on actual people that I knew when I lived in South Korea.

The editor did, however, suggest that I change a few things, such as the initial introduction of some characters, some clarification of certain descriptions, and some of my choices in punctuation and italics. All good points. The editor also suggested that I consider revising the ending, and I agree. One of my friends, who read the rough drafts diligently when I posted them online, also felt the ending wrapped up a little quickly. And so I'll rewrite the end.

I'm also going to make some changes that weren't included in my story's evaluation, but that in light of a recent development in my personal life I feel I must do. I don't want to get into specifics, but I'm going to write a character out of the book. It's an extremely minor character who adds no value to the story, and so he's gone. Erased.

And so I write some more. Songsaengnim is not done. I thought I was done, was looking forward to moving forward, towards the sequel, Gyeosunim. But no, not yet.

But I'm not complaining. Not really. I'm lucky to have fresh eyes evaluate my work, eyes that want to help me make my novel the best it can be. And so I welcome these changes and look forward to the work ahead of me.

For those of you who have already purchased and read my e-Pub version from Amazon or received your copy directly from my blog site, I thank you. All I can say is for you to keep that version. It could become a collector's edition (it won't be worth anything, but it might be nice to say that you own the first printing, should it become successful). When the new version is completed and becomes available, and if you would like to read it, contact me and I'll send you the new version, free. We'll work out those details when the time comes.

Because I'm going to want to devote as much of my writing time to making revisions, I may not blog as often. I may post more pictures than text. But I won't abandon my loyal readers. I've been working on a book review of my own: three authors that I follow on Twitter, whose books I have read and on which I have performed my own evaluation. Look for these reviews to be posted sometime next week.

And so, I write. Stay tuned.

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