Monday, 2 December 2013

Chasing the last typo, considering commas, committing to the move

The paperback cover, still a work in progress
My latest novel is nearly good to go. A couple of beta readers told me it was comma-light, and they were right, so I've been judiciously adding commas.

Q pointed out that my disclaimer at the start of the book, While the places in this book are a mixture of real and imagined, the characters and events are fictitious, was not strictly accurate, since I mention Vladimir Putin and other real people. So I have made that line even shorter: This is a work of fiction. (I am in favour of keeping a book's front matter as brief as possible. The verbose disclaimers, threats towards pirates, and personal avowals that some authors go in for amaze me.)

I've formatted the paperback, and printed it out to check the way it looks on the page, which gives me the opportunity to have a final read-through. I've started work on the paperback cover. I have still to format the ebook.

At some stage, one has to admit the book is as good as one is going to get it. In Churchill's words, it's almost time to "kill the monster and fling him to the public" - which is both frightening and exciting.


  1. I know what you mean, sometimes you've done as much as you can and it's time to let it go and out to the public. I wish you the best of luck with it and maybe an interview for my blog soon?

  2. Thank you, LK - I have never been known to turn down an interview :o)

  3. Oh how we know just how this feels. I hope you're celebrating.

  4. Celebrating, no, not yet. Drinking, yes :o)

  5. I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  6. Eek!

    I mean, I hope you'll enjoy it, FH...

  7. Congratulations!

    For what it's worth, if you have the kind of kindle that will read your books aloud to you in the voice of Stephen Hawking, it's worth listening to it, if you can as 'Stephen' reads if very wrong if you don't put enough in or put them in the right places.



  8. MTM, thanks for the tip. I'll try that with my new Kindle Fire while wax modelling.

  9. "I am in favour of keeping a book's front matter as brief as possible. The verbose disclaimers, threats towards pirates, and personal avowals that some authors go in for amaze me."

    Good, Lexi, good. You show promise. I've been saying the same thing for years, but nobody listens to me. They'll listen to you, damn them, they'll listen to you.

    As you are yawningly aware, your copyright is assured even if you make no declaration at all. But it would just seem odd not to, wouldn't it?

    I sincerely hope that Putin and others sue you. You will then become seriously hot property, and be worth several fortunes. But don't hold your breath.

  10. I hope that on Christmas Day the Wolf will be number 1.

    Well spotted Q.

  11. You could do it like e e cummings did and put them all in at the end of the work and have your audience place them where they will.

  12. Can't wait to read it Lexi! It looks can go mad worrying about the small stuff..I've done the same...but you're right, in the end you have to let it go. Noone's going to worry about a few misplaced or unplaced commas when they are gripped by the story. X

  13. Iain, I have named one of my main characters in Wolf by the Ears Iain, complete with that annoying extra 'i' that reviewers will all leave out if they mention him. I can't now remember why I did this...perhaps it was a nod in your direction?

    Anna, if only :o)

    Russell, I cannot approve of your frivolous suggestion. I fear you are not taking punctuation as seriously as you should.

    Rebecca, you are right of course, it's the story that sells a book. Won't stop me obsessing, though...

  14. I sincerely hope that Putin and others sue you.

    Ian may have a point. You could have made Vladimir Putin the big cheese controlling operations. The boost to sales would cover any litigation fees. And Putin might well thank you for putting the fear of God into other potential dissidents! LOL

    For those unlucky enough not to have an ARC, it is a fantastic read! :)

  15. Thing is, Q, from the research I've been doing, Putin, when seriously pissed off, is more likely to send an assassin than a writ.

    I note you've missed out one of Iain's 'i's...

  16. I note you've missed out one of Iain's 'i's...

    I 'read' the comments using my text to speech software. Ivona's Amy pronounces it as Ian! LOL

    Lexi, could you explain the origin of your title 'Wolf by the Ears'.

    'Wolf' seems to appear once in the text with the expression 'They will know next time not to pull tail of the wolf.” but surely that's not the origin.

    Sometimes I'm just not very bright!

  17. I had to look this up. I had a vague notion it was folk law, or Aesop, meaning much the same as to ride a tiger.

    Google says it's from Thomas Jefferson discussing the slavery question: "But, as it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him nor safely let him go."

  18. I always read your posts and this one came on a day when I was about to start my final edits on my first novel- a scary thing. My baby will soon go out into the big world and every decision I make will be judged. When you haven't done this before it cam seem very daunting. So your "voice" was good to hear. Not feeling so alone in the universe. Thanks

  19. Judith, good luck with your book! I hope it is successful and the first of many. My advice is, don't pay too much attention to criticism (unless you know in your heart of hearts it is justified, and therefore useful).