*Update 11/10 - The title, ORIGIN, has been replaced with the new title, IN A CELANDINE WORLD.
The feedback from the beta readers for, ORIGIN: Book of Truth, has been incredible. I knew the story, itself, might stir up some strong feelings and create some argumentative controversy—perhaps even belligerence—and I was prepared for it. I have always understood that faith is a very personal thing and even though this book is a work of fiction, ORIGIN kicks at boundaries and challenges core and universal beliefs in religion, science and life.
The feedback has been as varied as the folks reading it. Some wouldn’t change a single word and read it all in one sitting, while others selflessly (and painstakingly) combed through every sentence with the diligence and dedication of a 6 figure New York editor, providing detailed chapter reports for my perusal. Fantastic!
With the culmination of this feedback tucked into a binder, I set off to have a meeting with my esteemed ‘Continuity Director‘. We evaluated every word of suggestion and comment and quickly made notes for changes to the painfully obvious faux pas (the ones you can’t believe you didn’t see yourself) and also made notes for changes to the manuscript on what seemed to make sense for the flow. I would like to be able to tell you that this was a precise and calculated exercise built off some elaborate literary genius, but the dirty truth is that I tend to go where my ‘gut’ leads me.
Chapter 1 has been completely re-worked (not re-written) and the subsequent 2 chapters have absorbed the overflow with a small amount of re-working as well. The spelling, continuity, and grammar edits have been reflected throughout and I’m currently still working on verifying some research checks (I was sure I had already triple-checked these) and then I should be ready—once again. (For real this time!)
Next order of business is the query letter re-write. I know I’ve blogged about this before but it bears repeating. This is not an easy task. One might think that if you can write an entire book, what could be so difficult about one letter? Well, it’s not just any old letter. Literary Agents have a specific structure and flow in mind when they receive queries from authors. However, these “wants” are as varied as the publishing industry itself. Researching the ins and outs of writing one can leave you frustrated and fed up. The information is, at times, completely contradictory and it’s almost impossible to know which advice is the sound advice to follow. The truth is that you are not going to please everyone with the same standard letter. I am beginning to believe that it is less important to study the guidelines ‘to the letter’ as it is to be professional, succinct, courteous and right to the point of your plot. Hopefully the writing will speak for itself. So, here we go.
Special thanks to my beta readers; Liane, Steve F, Karyn, Josephine, Toni, Steve G, Jo & Mark.