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The best place to start: in the middle

May 5, 2013

So it’s not strictly accurate to posit that my journey into the literary world has only just begun; the truth is I’ve been writing on and off for several years now, in one form or another.

I started with a fictional crime novel, which I attempted to have published the ‘traditional’ way, fire off my manuscript to countless literary agents, wait for a reply, receive a mixture of ‘thanks but no thanks’ or, alternatively, silence.

I was naive in my approach, completely under-prepared and ill-armed for my first assault on the fortress that is literary success.

But with little idea of how else to proceed, I did what writers do.

I wrote.

Another manuscript, this time a work of young adult fiction, which was a break from my previous attempt, at a crime thriller. The idea came to me out of the blue and seemed to me original. So I finished it, and trod the old boards again, only this time I was better equipped when it came to writing a good synopsis, an effective query letter, and which agents to approach.

Sure enough I got some good responses, with agents asking to see the complete manuscript. Still, no deal though. Because what I was lacking in my story was a little of the old ‘show don’t tell’ concept. So, back to the drawing board: I learnt how to show and not tell, and am in the process of editing (heavily) that piece of work.

In the mean time…I have been published on line having written for one of the former leading boxing magazines (under another name) and had a few local sports articles put into print. I wanted some fiction on the page though, so I quickly put together a short thriller, set in my home village, but with an international conspiracy. My aim was to get it published in the local village magazine.

Well, because it was a monthly magazine short on space, a short story published as a serial was never going to work, so there it was – another little setback.

And then I discovered Kindle, and the greater concept of ebooks in general. So after a little bit of formatting, I published ‘The Villager’ at Kindle Direct Publishing.

Success? I think so. It’s not made a million overnight, but I have in two months managed 800 free downloads and 150 sales. For something that I banged together very quickly almost just for fun, I guess that’s not too shabby.

Anyway, remember that crime thriller I mentioned earlier? My first efforts at getting into print? Well I recently dusted that off and polished it up for – you guessed it – entry onto the ebook stage. And I’m nearly ready to go…

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