Friday, January 11, 2013

One Shade’s progress

By Tania Saiz [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

An in-progress view of collaborative publishing

Now that I’ve finished my first draft of my current novel, I’ve decided to share with you blog readers a real-time look as this work progresses through collaborative publishing.

Regular readers will know that my current work-in-progress is One Shade of Red, my spoof of the inexplicable best-seller, Fifty Shades of Gray. It began last fall when two ideas came together:

- that I could write a better story than EL James did

- that I needed a spark for my National Novel Writing Month 2012 project.

I succeeded in the NaNoWriMo project. In well under 30 days, I tapped out 50,000 words in a coherent story. I finished the first draft of the novel by about December 10 (still well within the rules of the NaNoWriMo game).

Computer addict 3 image found on
Concurring Opinions, courtesy Ipkat
I took a couple of weeks off from the book as a cooling-off period, and because, hey, it was Christmas. Gotta spend some time with the family occasionally, at least so those calls of “Would you come away from your computer for a few minutes, already!” have a chance to stop echoing.

Regular readers also know that last summer, nine other writers and I founded Independent Authors International, an author’s cooperative. One of the purposes of iAi is to share the various skills that authors have. I used that cooperative process to publish my first book, The Bones of the Earth. My premier editor and beta reader was Roxanne Bury (more sympathetically known as my wife). After I made the changes she recommended, I sent the manuscript to fellow iAi member Will Granger, author of Anabar’s Run and Anabar Rises. Another author and designer, Lisa Damerst (whose book cover work can be seen on the No Road Back) designed my cover, and I am very pleased with it.

I will follow a similar process with One Shade of Red.
Sometimes, it's just too much information.
(Image source: Jeff Youngstrom, Creative Commons)

The first draft of One Shade of Red weighed in at 73,167 words. Upon re-reading it, I realized that if I was going to try to spoof EL James, I would have to pull back on some of my description. The book is about sex, and I wanted to write about sex as frankly and fully as I write about everything else, but the first draft contains descriptions that are WAY too graphic. I included much, much more detail than EL James ever did.

I am now half-way through the rewrite of One Shade; Roxanne has the first couple of rewritten chapters to look at now. When I have incorporated those changes, I will have to choose another editor for the crucial dispassionate second look and proofread. I will also have to find a cover designer.

I promise to keep everyone up to date. And don’t hesitate to ask questions!

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