Saturday, 15 June 2013

Printing the manuscript


I've just done it. After weeks of hard graft - and last week I hardly went anywhere except up the stairs to my study - I hit the print button about an hour ago and watched as all those words I crafted (agonised over in some cases) emerged on paper. Not a proper manuscript version for publishers, but a draft print for a trusted work-in-progress reader.

It's always a satisfying feeling - tinged with relief that the printer, at least, has actually worked. I can remember all too vividly the days when printing out the manuscript of a novel could take all day, churning and juddering and running out of ink, leaving you jumping around alongside with exhausted irritation.

When it came to the second novel, my husband heroically offered to print out the manuscript from a floppy disk at the office after work...the mega-printer there whooshed out the pages all right, but the after the first few pages, the files corrupted and all we had were pages of jibberish. More anguished phone calls. Another try. Tears of frustration at midnight...and back to home printing at the speed of a Roman scribe the next morning.

How far we have come...but the next stage remains the same. I'm going to drive over to my parents' house this afternoon and let my mother read it. Not only is she a lifelong reader, but she's a demanding one who pulls no punches. I made the mistake (well, I say mistake, but it was a lucky one) of showing her the first part of this book back in January before I had done enough work on it. I'd been telling her about how it was going, and she'd been more than usually interested in having an early peek.

So I gave her what I'd done. More than a week went by. Eventually, I cracked and asked her what she thought. "It's most peculiar," she said. "Far too much gardening, and you really need to explain things better." I had to go away and do some serious thinking. But an incisive reader at this stage is just what you need. Fingers crossed she likes it this time.   

12 comments:

Gill Edwards said...

oh i cant imagine how exciting that must be, i hope she approves and it gets published soon. I cant wait for another novel.

Gill x

Helen Smith said...

Congratulations, Deborah, and good luck with it.

Nadege said...

I finished reading "Paris" by Edward Rutherford, followed by "And the mountains echoed". I am always looking for good books. I am ready for yours (whenever it might come out), hoping it won't take too long.

Shelley said...

How exciting. Can't wait to read it Deborah. How lucky your mother is!

Shelley said...

By the way, I've been zooming in on the picture trying to read a few lines. Can't. Most frustrating.

MuMuGB said...

Another important milestone has passed then, Deborah! Congratulations. I have to say that you make it sound easy...

Yvonne Osborne said...

What an accomplishment! I love the printed pages neatly stacked and share your experience of printer malfunction and floppy disks going south. Congratulations! Hope you're have a nice summer.

litlove said...

It's such a huge achievement to get to the end! And how fortunate that you have such a good relationship with your mother that you can take the critique from her. It's always good to have eagle-eyed early readers, even though those big early changes can seem so frustrating (but thank goodness for them). I really hope she loves it this time!

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Congratulations, Deborah! Hope Mom likes it.

HeidiInHolland said...

How exciting! I am really looking forward to you second book after having loved The Lantern! If is about gardening then I am really going to love it as it is a major hobby of mine.

Greetings from Holland ~
Heidi

Bonnie R said...

Just one step closer! Congratulations, that must be an awesome feeling. :) Can't wait for the finished version!

Marcheline said...

I am trying very hard to keep myself from squinting at the picture to get a first look...

Have been reading a great many books set in India lately, "The Marriage Bureau for Rich People", "The Sandalwood Tree", and currently "What the Body Remembers"... I'm enjoying them immensely, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to your new book to pull me from my India phase to another French countryside phase!

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