Saturday, September 14, 2013

Planning an overnight getaway


Alex working away, with Onyx the Edider keeping a close watch. 

Before the novel hits the virtual shelves...


We had been working hard for more than a year to get Alex's new novel completed. He started it last September when his mother broke her leg and we moved into her house to care for her, the house, and the farm. One day, Alex started writing. He wrote much and more, and then some more again. He was crazed, like a madman compelled to get every last word out of him. It was fascinating to watch. He didn't know where it came from or where it was heading, only that it had to come out.

Alex was doing research online for historical tidbits to weave in. He was delving into our personal experiences with and around 9/11, as we had been living nearby and had many friends affected by the tragedy. He was conjuring up characters that cobbled together bits and pieces of people he'd known in his life.  It was all a fascinating adventure.

And he hadn't stopped until last Thursday, when he uploaded the final version to amazon.com. I was brought into the fray pretty early on.  I read the first few chapters and wasn't really sure where it was heading. Alex wanted me to keep reading but I said, "No, I need to be able to read it straight through when you're done, not in stages."  So I waited.

Onyx, the Edider
They say editing is the hard part, and it sure was. As I read, I did the first major edit. Changing the order of things so exciting events happen up front to hook the reader in. Checking facts to make sure things are believable and not misrepresented.  You see, it's a novel with factual historical events built into it. It's not historical fiction. It's more like fictional history.

The premise is that 9/11 was an event that triggered much bigger things to come down stream. So events that led up to it and really happened around it are combined with a story made up in that curious mind of Alex's. So when the butterfly flaps it's wings in the amazon, the wind created builds until a hurricane erupts in the Atlantic. And so it was with 9/11, which of course is a cataclysmic event in its own. (Prequel perhaps?)

So after I read and commented on the first draft, Alex hunkered down to rewrite it into a more cohesive and fast-paced thriller. Luckily, Alex and I work very well together.  We are comfortable with each other's style and always willing to listen to the other's point of view. We never get perturbed by each other's edits no matter how intense they are.  Something like four or more edits later, Alex returned it to me to determine if it was worth publishing and, if so, for a final edit and proofread. He did a final final proofread before uploading it to Create Space. The proofs would arrived in a few days, the weather was to be settled, so we decided to go for a sail to the Inishkeas. When we returned it would be ready to be released to the world. Well, at least to family and friends first. That would take massive effort. Here's to a great sail.




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