The Labor Pains of Writing a Book

Today in my post I thought I’d give an update on my progress (slow as it is) on The Art of Retribution.

It’s the sequel to The Art of Going Home, and the final book of the series.

First, there’s the cover. It’s always a challenge to find one that will appeal to the largest number of potential readers, invite them to open the book, and coordinate with the first cover in the series. I’ve got a concept in mind, and I’m hoping to create it myself. My graphic art skills are rudimentary, though. Creating something beautiful will definitely test my skills (and tolerance for frustration!). Here is a crude mock up along with the first book.

I’ve found it’s harder to write the second book than the first. Maybe because in the first I had the freedom to do anything I wanted: to take the characters and/or plot in any direction. The second book has to answer all the questions left open in the first, and introduce a separate plot realistic in the context of the characters’ personality and the setting. It all has to be wrapped up in a way that will leave the reader satisfied.


I’ve written 38,000 words so far, and hope to reach about 66,000 words before editing (about 200 pages.) Don’t know if I’ll end up with that many, but we’ll see. I still have to consult with experts regarding the medical and legal details of the plot.

I’d hoped to get the manuscript ready to send to my editor by the end of July. Well... not sure THAT will happen. I have to edit it myself before I send it out. Self-editing is very difficult. Since I know what I’m expressing, it’s hard to see when the writing is unclear or confusing.

Then, there’s the step in the middle of all the editing that comprises the beta-readers. Beta-readers are the folks who agree to read the manuscript and provide honest feedback about a pre-published, still-to-be-finalized book. Depending on their feedback, re-writes could be anything from small tweaks to major modifications of the plot line. The last step is the proofreader, who fixes punctuation, grammar, repetition, and points any plot inconsistencies.

YIKES! I get nervous just thinking about it.

So tell me, is there anything you readers would like to see in the sequel? Any questions answered or anything happen to the characters?

I’d love your input!