Who am I? I ask myself that question quite often. Chris Wilt is my name, and I have just finished a humorous novel called “Carry On Quack.” I gave the novel to my wife to read, who has been a published writer for thirty five years. I waited for her to laugh. She did!
Next stop, e-publishing and world domination. This will be the story of my journey. Hope you enjoy.
I began Carry on Quack two years ago. I had written short stories before, but this was my first attempt at a 50,000 word novel.
I purchased a large spiral pad where I stored all my ideas. When the pad was full, I filled another. After the fifth pad I realised I was putting off starting the novel. I tried sitting at the computer and reading my notes, but there were too many. They didn’t make sense! “Where do I start?” I shouted for the eighth time.
My wife (Mein Fuhrer) strides in from the next room, slaps me twice, and tells me to get organised.
She says I need an outline. I should mark out in squares how many chapters I would use for my book. I tell her I don’t know how many. She looks at me as if I’ve passed wind in company.
If your book is twenty-two chapters long she says, you want twenty-two squares. She is now talking to me as if I don’t speak English.
Eventually I have the squares, all numbered on a large sheet of paper. I write down what each chapter is about. My novel is about a man in his late thirties called Dr.Edward Quack whose marriage and life is coming apart. I add to the first square, Edward Quack at home with family. I’ve made a start. Eureka!
Over the next two years I am really thankful for that outline. It’s got me back on track many times. It doesn’t have to be written in stone but at least it’s a plan to work by. It’s like making a shopping list. It’s there to help. But if you see items you prefer, go for them. It has taken me two years to finish the novel because I am a slow typer. WRONG. It’s because I like to do other things. Surf, watch TV, blog, plus a lot more.
My wife has made a great living out of writing, but she has what I don’t have; glue on the seat of her pants.
She writes for a solid four hours then goes back for another four. Success comes from what you put in. It’s a lesson I’ve learned first hand. And I think my pants are definitely stickier.
Carry On Quack is now with a proofreader and will be out in eBook on Amazon and Smashwords, November 2011. I should have worked out the formatting by then and designed the cover. Meanwhile you can follow my blog to see how I’m getting on.
Good luck to all my fellow writers out there and especially the ones just beginning.
I know time is precious, but please leave a comment and tell me how you’re getting on.