Revising Leah

November 22, 2008

Waiting . . . waiting . . . (Progress Report #12)

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 1:07 pm
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After reading chapters at random for a couple weeks, I’ve been doing one more read-through of the whole novel. It will be the last read-through that I do until I receive the galley proof copy in January because what I’ve discovered as I’ve been reading through the story is that there really isn’t any more work for me to do. Sure, I make a few nit-picky changes and corrections in each chapter, but I’m not making any substantive changes. Essentially, the novel is finished.

There’s very little for me to do right now except wait until January. Why January? That’s when I want to start the publication process. In theory, I could log into Lulu in December and start it then, but I want the new edition of Leah to be published in 2009, so that’s why I’m waiting.

As I mentioned in another post, I’m way ahead of schedule, and that’s a problem, because I don’t know how I’m going to fill the time between the end of this month and the start of the new year. Since next week is Thanksgiving week — and since the final third of my novel is set during Thanksgiving week — I think what I’ll do is read the chapters set during that week on the appropriate days, starting with the second half of chapter 15 on November 23 (tomorrow) and concluding with the final chapter of the novel on November 30 December 1. In fact, it just occurred to me that the dates for November in 2008 correspond perfectly to the dates for November in the novel. That’s a pretty cool coincidence, and it should be a fun experience to read the story on the appropriate days. (Actually, this year’s schedule is one day earlier than the schedule in the novel.)

I also have a lot of time to work on the cover of the novel. I think I’ve made a decision about the design of the back cover, but I’m still having trouble writing the blurb. Blurbs are very tricky things to write. I have to do so much in such a small amount of space: the blurb must offer a summary of the novel that tells the reader what the story is about without giving too much away, and at the same time the summary must be compelling enough that it encourages someone to read the book. It’s really difficult to get it just right.

But the real problem is what should I do with this blog while I wait? The purpose of this blog has always been to serve as a sort of diary of my revision process. If I’m not working on my novel, then what do I have to write about? I could put this blog on hiatus until January (when I intend to document the publication process for folks who are interested in learning what is involved in self-publishing a novel — it can be a bit of a labyrinthine process). I’d rather not put this blog on hold, since I feel like I’d be losing momentum so close to publication, but I may not have any choice.

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June 24, 2008

Book Blurbs

Filed under: Uncategorized — J.M. Reep @ 4:26 am
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Although I’m still a long way from publication, I do like to think about things like the blurb that will go on the back cover. Since I’m self-publishing, I have to do the blurb writing myself. I hate writing blurbs because I think they sound cheesy, but lately I’ve been working on the blurb for Leah anyway. The blurb that I wrote for the 1996 edition was one of the many things I didn’t like about the book, so I’m rewriting the blurb from scratch. Here’s my working draft for the blurb — I rather like it:

“Shy and alone, 14-year-old Leah Nells has lived her life in isolation, with only books to keep her company. But when she begins ninth grade, she finds herself thrust into the bewildering social cosmos of high school. And when she falls in love with a boy from her class, she must choose between the girl the world expects her to be and the girl who she is.”

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