Book Update: Getting Realer

436 pages, nearly 106,000 words. All of them need to be edited.


How’s the book going? Well, I’ll tell you, right after I show you:


436 pages, nearly 106,000 words. All of them need to be edited.

Jaime and I were looking it over last night and I’m already finding stupid typos and poor word choices. I didn’t red-pen it yet, but it’s happening soon. After marking up the pages, I’ll start working on Draft Three. I have no idea how many iterations of this process I’m going to run through prior to querying literary agents, but I’ll do it as many times as needed.

Looking at the hard copy manuscript was daunting and useful. It’s weird to see the big fat manuscript… we both remarked that the process seems more serious now when we look at a thick manuscript rather than a Word document on a laptop or tablet. And after editing and tweaking Draft Two, I really thought it was thisclose to “prime time”. Wrong. Having the physical page to study revealed the flaws (to me) better than purely through a computer monitor.

Another benefit of having a single-sided hard copy: I can shuffle or plain remove chapters at will. It’s possible to cut and paste things in Word, but for me, this is easier. There are a couple of spots that strike me as redundant (intentionally, but they could be tedious for anyone to slog through that doesn’t have a personal stake in the material) and I’m curious to pull them out of the stack and see how or if that affects the story.

This will easily take the remainder of June. GIGO, and all of that.

Oh – and because I’m me, I’ve started to write Book Two. I didn’t think I could juggle multiple projects, but here I am. Book One takes the higher priority, but when the outline of the book came to me in a flash, I had to get it on paper immediately.

And finally, when we were at Disney World this past weekend, we happened upon a rack of paperbacks and Jaime pulled me aside. She asked how crazy it would be if one day we came back to that spot and there’s my book. I said I’d probably stand next to it and wait for people to make eye contact. “Oh, this? Yeah, I wrote it, why?”

Honestly, it’s fun to daydream a bit about Making It, but it’s also kind of scary. I keep reminding myself that there’s lots more work to do before I can even hope to get published, let alone have a smash hit. And I don’t want to fall into a deep depression when the rejection letters come because I puffed myself up in to a feeling of invincibility.

The work continues.

Author: Ethan Johnson

Words like silent raindrops.

One thought on “Book Update: Getting Realer”

  1. When you see your book in a bookstore, you always rearrange the display so your book is prominent. Really, this is what authors I know do. You might also ask the bookstore owner if they’d like you to sign any books.


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