The art of submission

No, not that type of submission. But if you’re interested in this beautiful sculpture, here’s the buy link on ebay.

I’m talking about this type of submission:


Last week I submitted my most recent novel to my publisher Blushing Books. Until they answer, I will check my mail with bated breath.

Finishing the working draft of a book always feels like the completion of a long journey. It’s when I sit back and think: how did I get to "the end" this time? I’ve seen authors discuss their writing process.  I’ve never attempted to. Perhaps because I’ve never written any two books with the identical process.

But all my books have had some common elements:

·       As soon as I get the idea for a story, I sketch out a plot arc. It includes the end of the ordinary world, halfway point, crisis, climax, and resolution.

·       For my last four books, I’ve set up Pinterest boards to collect the images that help me see the story. The board for my latest book, Trusting Ingrid, is here.

·       I make copious notes as my stories reveal themselves to me. I carry a notebook and pen always. Often it looks like it has snowed inside the house because my desk is buried under a blanket of white.

·       As I start each book, I open a new Excel workbook where I track the names and details of each character on one spreadsheet. I use another spreadsheet to track chapters. When a book is finished, a copy of the names sheet is added to the workbook called Book Bible. Then, when new characters come into a subsequent work, I can check this workbook to see if I’ve already used whatever names I want to give them. I started doing this after a workshop with the amazing Cora Seton last year. I wish I’d known the tool earlier and avoided a name duplication in two of my releases.

·       I read my books aloud as I write them. The Leading Man listens patiently. He offers suggestions, catches continuity problems, and takes notes when I wish he wouldn’t.

·       I revise. Many, many times.

·       I plug the entire manuscript into Natural Reader. I started using this with A Time For Will. A typo queen like me needs all the help she can get.

Those are the common points in my writing process as of February 2018.

This week I’m full of post-submission hope as I sketch out my next story.
What do you do after submission? Do you celebrate each step of the writing process: completing a book, submitting it, getting rejected, getting accepted, publication ... etc?

Update: February 28: Trusting Ingrid has now been accepted for publication. Watch this space for more details.