The last few weeks I’ve been busy on four accounts: writing and editing, reading and reviewing. And in this order.
Writing is so much more than simply writing your story. There are two ways of approaching the writing of your book. You can write your story, without thinking much about format or chapters by simply letting the writing flow and worrying about the editing afterward, or you can plan it all out carefully and think out the detail and plot your book like a business plan. In the latter case I assume that you focus on the bulk of the editing as you go along.
I think I’m a bit of a combination of the two, however. I knew what I wanted to write about when I started to write my biography of living in Iran, Half the World. After all I had a couple of diaries and the flow of the revolution in Iran was only ever going in one direction. I knew how it was going to end. Nevertheless, once I had the first draft I edited it and edited it again as I wanted the story to flow and I wanted my readers to be there with me. So although I had it all planned, I nevertheless rewrote the whole book after I’d finished it, and then edited it again.
Half the World has now had its final edit and is being made ready for publishing, and I hope it will all be ready in the first week of May. We still need to do some tweaking with the colours of the cover for the paperback version but we’re almost there. Then we will use the same cover for the e-book version, but you don’t need a back cover for a Kindle or Kobo version. I’m learning as I go along, as you probably notice.
I’ve now picked up the writing of my novel again. This will be ‘Notes on Anna’ and my approach to writing this is quite different from that I had to writing Half the World. Although I know in outline what the novel is about and I have been writing notes and chapters over many years, I find that as I’m writing the book my characters are changing from what I thought they were going to be like, and I need to rethink almost on a daily basis where they are leading me. I enjoy the experience.
Meanwhile, I’m also reading almost as much as I have ever done but I have been so preoccupied with writing and editing and also with trying to formulate a marketing plan for my book(s) reviewing the books I’ve read has taken a bit of a back seat. I will be back with some soon, however, as I have been making extensive notes on some of these books.
Half the World: will be published early May. Look out for it.