Friday, April 20, 2012

Pinhole Completion

After almost a year and a half of work, I have finished work on Pinhole.  I wanted to thank all you who read my blog.  I wouldn’t have been able to write it without you.

When I started writing Pinhole, I did it as part of National Novel Writing Month.  Over the next month and a half, I posted my first draft here as I wrote it.  Knowing you were out there reading as I wrote made me get up and post a thousand words every day.  As I said, I wouldn’t have been able to do it without you (heck, you even picked which novel I wrote).

When I was finished, my father pointed out that my book was far too short.  Novels are about 100 thousand words long.  Mine was only 60 thousand.  I wrote again and, three months later, Pinhole had ballooned to the right length.

Then I read it to my wife who, as always, was very supportive.  Well, she fell asleep a few times, but that’s a good sign with her.

I just left myself open for ribald jokes, didn’t I?

Charlie Haas, a friend and author, told me he would introduce me to a publisher friend, but only after my book was finished, polished, and my best work.  That got me thinking: was it my best work?  How do I know it’s my best work?  There are remedial English classes filled to the brim with people who think their novels are masterpieces.

I decided to hire an editor.  After I picked Jennifer Brozek, I sent my novel with the question: Is it good enough to publish?  Ms. Brozek was very positive, and told me to change two chapters (She hated one of the sad endings.  Who hates depressing endings?!) and assigned me to read The 10% Solution.

I bristled at the book when I first read it, but it changed the way I wrote significantly and gave me the tools I needed to improve.

This morning, at 10:45, I finished my final pass through the novel.  I added the secret code (I want all my books to have secrets hidden in them), and took out the last few times I used the word “red.”  It seems, whenever I need to say what color something is, I say it’s red.

The next question is what I do now.  Answer: everything.

I’ve put off a lot of projects to do this novel.  I’m working on three (maybe four) games.  I have a to-do list that’s two pages long (single spaced, 10 pt font).  I have this blog.  I have children.

Or I did.  Come to think of it, I haven’t seen them for a year or so.

And, in November, National Novel Writing Month rolls around again.  That doesn’t give me much time to get everything done, now does it?


Morris West Montana said...

Congrats, it's quite the accomplishment to say anything is "complete", let alone a 100,000 page novel! I'll be interested in reading the completed version eventually.

As for that book (The 10% Solution), would you say it applies as you are writing and planning the novel, or is it more applicable after you have a solid draft and you are on to the editing stage?

Matthew Kagle said...

100k pages? I'm not L. Ron Hubbard. Thanks, though.

The 10% solution is strictly for editing. It says, write however you need to for your first draft, then follow this list of steps. Not sure I'll always use it, but right now it's extremely useful.

Morris West Montana said...

Yeah sorry, no offense to Mr. Hubbard, but I think it's a good thing your novel is significantly shorter than 100k pages.

Sometimes those writing books can be iffy, but if you recommend it I'll check it out once I get a solid draft.

Matthew Kagle said...

I'd actually suggest you get it before that. It's horribly time consuming. I did the entire novel at once and it hurt. I'd suggest get it now and do it piece by piece as you go along.