Book Update: Taking Shape

I have been typing away, not at all following the ancient and accepted guidelines for formatting a fiction novel manuscript.


I finished my nightly writing session a few minutes ago (as I type this – the blog posting is on a time delay) and wanted to take a moment to breathe before going back under on Thursday night.

I have been typing away, not at all following the ancient and accepted guidelines for formatting a fiction novel manuscript. That part will come much later. I am still focused on writing the bare bones of the story. As told time and time again, I write fluidly, which is to say, I make up the story as I go. I have a rough idea of the ending but due to the magic of characters coming to life (in print), it’s been thrilling to see where they go and what they do when they get there.

Now, being that focused (I’m insane, I tell ya), I have been uncharacteristically reticent to look ahead to the publishing phase. I know that there is no guarantee that this or any other book I write will hit the big time, but still, if I want to take a crack at it, I need to know how the game is played. Step One is, write the damn book.

After checking out the general formatting guidelines, I made a copy of my ongoing draft and formatted “quick and dirty”. Here’s how it looks in blur-o-vision:


No, I’m not paranoid about anyone ripping me off. I’m just not ready to post excerpts yet. I’ll either do it closer to the end of the initial draft, or when I am deeper into the hardcore editing phase. Or failing that, I’ll put up some character profiles or something.

Anyway, not that it looks like anything in the crummy photo above, but things Got Real(tm) when I saw the book starting to fall into “real book” format.

Holy cow, this might actually be a thing.

Either way, and this is your hip tip for the day, the motivational speaker Les Brown often said, “if you can’t see it for yourself, nobody else will see it for you.”

Well, I saw it for myself.

I went from “can’t even write a short story” (I mean, other than blog posts) to “writing a book” out of nowhere. My brother read an old draft recently and he was asking me where this came from. I really don’t know. But I am obsessed with keeping up the momentum.

My co-worker just finished reading a copy of the same draft and she is really excited about it. She doesn’t go in for this sort of reading, but it really did hold her interest and she is really wrapped up in the characters. She’s not quite getting the story, but enjoying the ride anyway.

Oh! Speaking of short stories, that’s how I was going to do this book, at first. I was going to write vignettes from the point of view of a specific character, or just focus on that character using Voice of God narration. I went with the latter approach for the actual book, POV style. But what were supposed to be disconnected vignettes became chapters, and a unifying arc, even if it’s not patently obvious at this stage in development.

Anyway, I am looking forward to someday sharing this with the world. I’m just stoked that this is coming together bit by bit! /confetti

Author: Ethan Johnson

Words like silent raindrops.

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