On the Cutting Room Floor

Tesla’s Ghost is currently in the editing phase. I’ve finished the first draft–rough draft, or crap draft if you will–and now I’m trying to make my new darling as presentable as possible.

When you’re just beginning writing, you’re enamored simply by the fact that you were able to complete something. Hey, look at me; I wrote a book! Eventually–if you’re lucky, or smart–you realize that the book is only as good as the editing process.

After letting the first draft cool for as long as I could, I went back through as reread the entire manuscript. Funny thing that; it was actually the first time I had read it from beginning to end. The way the book is structured, with half of it happening in modern day and half in the 1890s, it was written somewhat piecemeal. But my reread wasn’t for the purpose of enjoyment. I gathered up six single-spaced pages of notes and observations of things I needed to fix. Some where minor, like simple turns of phrases and inconsistencies. Others were pretty major, like one plothole that I have only yesterday figured out how to resolve.

Those six pages have been what I have been working from for the past week or so. When I get those all cleared up, my plan is to do a rewrite of chapter one. I am always very particular about beginnings, because I know that if you don’t catch the attention of the reader on the first page, you likely won’t catch it at all. So I plan a rewrite of what was an okay chapter to begin with.

When I get all that done, I will probably do another reread, this time aloud to my wife. She hasn’t heard the book yet, and reading it aloud always makes stuff pop out to me that I don’t otherwise see. I will probably need to fix some things at that point.

When that’s done, I have three beta readers I plan to send it to. These are three hand-picked people I know will give me the honest truth about the manuscript, and are selected because they are diverse in their backgrounds. I value their opinions. When I get their responses, I will apply their recommendations to another edit.

At that point, I hope I will be ready to send the manuscript off to agents. Yes, I’ve decided to try the agent route this time rather than going indie. We’ll give that a go and see what happens.

So you can see that Tesla’s Ghost is far from done, even though every time I look at it, it seems a little more presentable.

I hope to be able to share it with you soon.