It’s done.

You guys. I have something important to tell you.

You know that novel I’ve been working on for over 10 years now? The one that started back in 2007 as a series of random journal entries that eventually became scenes, which eventually became a novel? The one that I rewrote several times just so I could “get it right” then edited more times than I can recall?

Yeah, well…it’s done.

No, I really mean it. I sent it out to beta readers. Today. Like the whole thing. Completed.

Does that mean it won’t see any more changes? No, but I’ve gotten it as good as I can get it on my own, so now I’m sharing it with others who can help me make it even better.

What Comes Next?

Well, once I’ve gotten feedback from my beta readers (thank you!), I’ll be reading through that then deciding what changes should be made to my story. After which…

See, now that’s where things get fuzzy. Do I get ready to send the thing to literary agents and hope that I can find representation and a publisher, or do I strike out on my own as a self-published author? I’ve been debating this for some time now, and I’m still no closer to an answer. I’ve been telling myself, “Hey, why don’t you do some submissions for a while and see how that goes? If nothing comes of it, you can always self-publish.” Which is fine. But the very designer/creator side of me really likes the idea of having a say in things like the cover and layout design of my first novel.

Besides, I’m hearing it’s tough for self-proclaimed dieselpunk writers to get any representation right now—simply for the fact that they identify their work as “dieselpunk”. And that’s messed up ’cause y’all know I’m all about dieselpunk. I’ve gotten very involved in that community lately on Facebook and am even one of the top profiles that pop up on Twitter when you search for “dieselpunk”. In other words, I’ve been branding myself a certain way and would like to continue doing so.

In any case, I could go back to brainstorming ideas for Book II, which I’ve already started. I might wait a few weeks on that, at least, though. Take a break.


Anyway, that’s what’s going on with me.

What Are You Working On?

Writing a novel yourself? Or maybe you’ve been reading some good stories lately. I wanna know!


12 thoughts on “It’s done.

  1. Congratulation on finishing this draft and thank you for having me as a beta reader ^_^

    As for how to publish it… I’d consider it very carefully. That’s what I’m doing with my own trilogy. It’s been the work of years for me too, and I’d like it to be successful. I’d also feel more confortable with the trad route, because I hope to learn more on the way.
    But it’s been a hard sell, so far. Not because it’s dieselpunk (no, I don’t mention that in the query, since it isn’t a selling point. Most people don’t even know what dieselpunk is)… honestly I don’t know what’s wrong with it, and it’s not easy to figure out.

    I have considered selfpublishing, but first, I don’t have the kind of money this endeavour requests to invest. And second, I don’t have the fan base to justify it. I have shelfpublished a novella and it isn’t going very well, which means I still don’t understand how to sell a novel successfully.
    And if I selfpublish the first book of a series, no trad publisher will ever be interested in the entire series again.

    So, at the moment I’m selfpublishing shorter stories, trying to figure out the selfpublshing business and am still trying to get someone intersted in my novel while trying to figure out why nobody seems to be (trying at the same time to remain positive that it isn’t because the thing sucks…)
    It’s a nasty business, I’m telling you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course! Thanks for volunteering. 😀

      You bring up some good points about publishing that I hadn’t considered before…hmm… Yeah, I was thinking about not even mentioning dieselpunk if/when I submit. Sucks, but if it helps to get noticed in a more favorable light… The whole idea of going through the “gatekeepers” annoys me, tbh, but that’s life, I guess.

      That’s smart that you’re using your short stories to figure out the self-publishing game. 🙂 Hopefully, something opens up a door for you with one of your stories!


  2. Congratulations! Depending on how involved your betas are, and what their feedback details, you may still have a lot of editing work ahead of you still. Many of my betas are writers, and their feedback has been so detailed that I’m calling some them critique partners instead as their contributions verge on that of editor. I love my crew! But it’s prompted me to edit and add a great deal to the book, and as a result my timetable got thrown out the window. However, it’s better to take your time and craft a good book than get a bad one out quickly… but I’m sure that after ten years of work a few more months will seem like nothing to you.

    On publishing, that’s a hard one. I’m starting my own small publishing company for a number of reasons, one of which being that I feel that Viv’s will be a nigh-impossible sell to a traditional publisher of fantasy. But it’s difficult and complicated, requiring an investment of money and time that will reduce your writing, at least in spurts. You have to really desire to self-publish if you want to make it work, and the right set of skills or access to people with those skills. My situation is unusual in that I have many things coming together that makes my decision to start my own small press a strong one, but it’s still a big pain in the butt even though I think it will be worth it in the end.

    My suggestion would be –unless you are really motivated to self-publish– to get your novel polished-up after the beta feedback and try querying it with agents and publishers first. If that comes to naught after many months of strong effort, revisit and your manuscript and see if any revision or rewriting is needed. If after that, if you’re still not getting any bites on a second round of queries, ask yourself the self-publishing question again.

    Heck, ask me too! Hopefully I’ll be running my own small press by then and can share what experience I’ll have with you. 😉


    • Oh trust me, I know I’ve still got work to do, heh. Just knowing that I’ve done all I can on my own has been a relief. It’s like now, with the right help, I can really get to work!

      That’s my fear with self-publishing: honestly, I’d rather not have to worry about doing the whole shebang on my own. Sounds like it’d suck the life out of me, lol, if I were really trying to do it right. I’ve been a business owner once and decided it wasn’t for me. But hey, if I can’t get the story out any other way…guess I’ll have to figure something out. (Even if it doesn’t bring me much financial success.)

      Your suggestion seems sound. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations! What an achievement. As for method of publication — plenty of time to make a final decision on that (though not too early to do some research — it’s interesting about the current “dieselpunk” prejudice).

    As for me? My most recent story is “done,” but I feel it needs more work. I was having some IRL difficulties when writing it, and I think I rushed through it a bit. Needs more room to breathe, I think. When I listen to it now, I feel “Wow, this guy is really in a hurry to get to the end.”

    So, maybe now I’m doing the “director’s cut.” 🙂


  4. Congratulations! I remember when your blog was still called 7 1/2 drafts. It’s awesome to see you finally get there! *waves pompoms and cheers*

    I’m currently between revisions of a new novel and querying the previously finished novel (which is threatening to drive me nuts).

    Good luck to you! In the meantime I hope you celebrate and enjoy a rest.


    • Thank you! I know I’ll still have some work ahead of me, but it should be easier for me to tackle this time. 🙂

      Oh boy! I’m not looking forward to the querying process, tbh, lol. I will definitely be like you and working on another project at the same time.

      Also, I’m trying to rest…but it’s so weird… After years of not consistently writing, you’d think I’d be fine!


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