martin white | author

How many f***** times..??

How many f***** times..??

For a day that started with hunting spiders in my living room just after 7am, I’m finding that time disappears so fast for me on a daily basis that I’m convinced someone is following me in another universe syphoning it all through some sort of quantum vaccum cleaner.

Right now it’s 1612hrs and since failing to capture that monstrous beast (it was about 8mm long and yes, it ran away from me), I’ve managed to achieve some writing stuff – but nowhere near as much as I should have – which I’m finding is typical. I’m finding that writers moan and whine a lot.

So – of my theoretical seven hours of time in which I could have been writing today I think I managed about two – (due to the interference of painters, kids wanting to play guitars, play dates, feeding the washing machine, emails, relatives admin stuff etc…) and even then it was kind of frustrating as what I envisaged as being the final read through of the current manuscript is now turning into another editorial pass!

Don’t get me wrong, I know any book should be as good as it possibly can be and even then I’m sure people will find holes in it – but the amount of stuff I’m finding that has me thinking, ‘Crap, I thought I’d fixed that!’ is becoming concerning.

For something I originally wrote the first sketch of about 20 years ago, I’m pretty sure I should have plugged all the holes by now. But then how careful can you be? How important is all this writing thing to you?

Hang on while I fire my reader hat on… I’ve seen a few good self published books on kindle, iBooks or whatever in the last few years but I’ve also seen many which have been seriously not so good. Some have just been badly written – for which there is no filter for online – but I found myself getting more upset by, or rather, on behalf of, the books which were ‘almost’ good, the ones that had great ideas or plots or stories and dialogue but were let down by poor editing and what always feels to me like an authors ‘closeness’ to their work. Oh, and pure unwillingness to chuck stuff. I’m not having a pop at anyone here, I know how much work goes into a book and I admire anyone who takes up the challenge. In fact I’d go as far as to say that even the worst ebook thriller I’ve seen would have made an acceptable story if only the author had only been more self critical. Or maybe paid someone else to be critical for them – and then listened. And fixed stuff.

This whole ebook thing does show you how easy it is to blow it all though. In theory I can publish everything I’ve written on kindle today if I want to – and then sit back to wait for the inevitable scathing reviews. I’m now mulling over sending my current manuscript to a professional editor before publishing just to make sure my work doesn’t end up in the Amazon duff review bin and I lose a whole bunch of readers because I personally think a joke or scene or whatever is great but no one else gets it. Which is virtually impossible as I’m hilarious.

No one knows how any book is going to sell but I’d guess that due to the eye watering amount of spondoolies professional editing will cost, it may well sink any chance of profit from the first one – but then the outlay could be regained by retaining readers who might just think I don’t suck afterwards. I know, this is probably all obvious but I’m thinking out loud here. So to speak.

There’s also the cover conundrum – like editors, cover designers all tell you their art is dark, mystical, based on science and will massively affect your sales potential. Are they right? Yes, I think they are (and I’ve seen some awful covers online…) but having done a bit of reasonably successful design myself in the past should I go with the ideas I have?

Answers on a postcard please…

In the meantime here’s a demo pic from test shoots that might or might not end up being a cover shoot. Meanwhile I’m off to look at Fiverr again…

No, you dont want to mess with this girl…



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