Birth of a Book

Once upon a time I got it into my head that I was capable of writing a non-fiction type of book on something, as a challenge to myself really, to see if I could complete such a project. And so I did, and in 2012 I self-published Quit Smoking Forever across Amazon, Apple, Kobo & Smashwords. Four years later and it still sells a few copies every now and then, but as of the middle of 2015 it was all I had ever done in the writing department.

Due to this and that, however, I got the urge to write again, but this time to make a proper go of it. So, I started another couple of non-fiction works, which have yet to be finished. Bad skills on my behalf came into play here, and I lost around 9,000 words of one of my books. This destroyed my morale and I couldn’t bring myself to starting over again, so I wallowed in self-pity for a week or two.

But then something strange happened to my brain… I really wasn’t going to stop writing, but just didn’t want to repeat everything I had already completed (and then lost). So my head processed this information and computed that the best path to follow now was to write some fiction instead. Specifically short stories, just to get a feel for all things literary. Crisis over!

Time for my first story…

Within a month, I had written my first short story and had begun work on a second one. Two months later, short story two was taking on a life of its own and was getting longer and longer… After about four months my short story was initially titled A Time and a Place and stood at around 9,000 words. It was about then that I came across a global literature award (courtesy of my girlfriend, Carey – thank you!) in Singapore that I decided to enter my new creation into. However, I felt I could do it more justice by expanding on it a bit and added more meat to the bones of my story to bring it up to novella level, which meant finding another 10,000 odd words to finish things off. Frankenstein’s monster was renamed The Right Side of Time and entered into the Half the World literati Award 2016!

I was so excited to have finished a work that I was really proud of, and, after I got booted out of the competition in round one, I uploaded my book to the above platforms hoping to start selling it. So where am I now? Well, after pestering friends and family to read and review it I have started getting some proper feedback from real reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads. And the general consensus amongst my esteemed readers? The story is too short, the character needs more conflict and the story needs more time to develop. Good points: they like the character, they like the actual story and my style doesn’t make anyone want to wretch yet. So bonus!

Where to now?

So what am I doing with my book now? Rewriting it of course! Only this time I have a finished product that I don’t want to destroy… but it does still need another 30,000 odd words to transform it into my very first novel. Bugger. Do I believe I can do it? Without a doubt. Am I struggling? More than ever – I keep getting stuck with where to go next and 50,000 for a proper novel doesn’t feel like it’s getting any closer. But I am so thrilled with the feedback I have got from strangers, that I know I will be failing myself if I don’t get this story right. And besides that, the sequel is already planned out in my head, and it’s a cracker!


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