Throughout my life I have wanted to write a book – I have lost count of the number of times I started, then, through changing priorities – kids – jobs - etc, forgot about it. Well, I finally made up my mind and started writing ‘Deadly Election’ (that was not its title then) two years ago, and finished it a year ago....... or did I?
I was so proud of my first book – 127,000 words, exciting story... I couldn't wait to let Createspace get its hands on my masterpiece. My amazing opus, which was going to revolutionize the reading world, hit the bookshelves around September last year – and stayed there, gathering electronic dust!
I am not sure how long it took me to realize that what I had, at that time, was a badly written, repetitive, spelling gremlin infested, rambling, over descriptive narrative – which was too long! I think it was about three months before the penny dropped. I checked Amazon hourly (or more) but the stats never changed. As an IT friend once said to me “The problem is between the keyboard and the chair.”
The very first amount of money I ever spent on my writing was $250 to an editor in the US for a critique. What I got back was... “There is the basis of a good story here, but.....” That ‘but’ lasted for a further five pages!! It was a good job he was thousands of miles away and I did not know his address!!
I can accept criticism, of course I can (he says, smiling and gritting his teeth). If someone pulls my masterpiece to pieces, derides my characters, criticizes my every sentence – of course I can accept it, just as soon as I have inflicted severe injuries on him and buried him, alive, in a shallow grave, while waiting for his apology. That all took place, of course, in my mind – many times. But, it actually did not take me long to realize that he was absolutely right, and that the $250 was well worth it.
One year down the line, I thank him, and all the other professional, friends and fellow writers who have helped me to hone my work. I was a lawyer before writing, and I wrote like a lawyer. Short sharp sentences, always in the third person – I am still trying to get that out of my system, but at least I recognize it now.
I have come to realize that writing the book is the easy part. Reviewing, editing, rewriting is much harder, and is far more painful. But, I believe, it is here that the true writer and author come through. It is easy to scribble something together and throw it out on Amazon – too easy.
If you are prepared to go through the effort and pain of learning how to write properly, getting a LOT of input, paid or otherwise from people who will be honest and forthright about your work (without being deprecating and unkind) then, and only then, do you deserve the respect and support of the writing community.
So, come on then – I’ve done all that (well, I am still doing it actually) so support me! Follow me on twitter (@arthurcrandon) and like my Facebook Fanpage – (arthurcrandonauthor). I do help and support other writers whenever I can, and if you need help or promotion please contact me and I will try to help.
Furry animals abound this week – I hope you enjoy them. Bye, for now – Arthur.
Meet the author
Arthur Crandon is a lawyer, the boring office kind, not the exciting (and much better paid) courtroom type. He worked as a solicitor for a while before embarking on an interesting life overseas. He has spent most of his time in recent years in South East Asia, more recently in Hong Kong. Before that, Arthur lived and worked in the Philippine Islands.
He loves to fish, and play the piano – but spends most of his time writing, eating, drinking and sleeping
– usually, but not always, in that order.
His first book, Deadly Election, draws on his strange imagination and his
experiences, together with those of others, in a land that, beneath a veneer of civilisation, operates like the Wild West and is very
dangerous to innocent and gullible foreigners.
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My thriller - Deadly Election - is now on sale at Amazon. Anyone who buys the book and leaves a review will get a signed paperback. Please subscribe to my blog and newsletter here