Thanks to the miracles of modern technology and good breeding (self discipline and a life of preparation in many ways) I wrote ‘Twenty Seven Seventy’ within the 30 days of November, as per the NaNoWriMo rules. I had help from critical friends who checked the manuscript, proofed and edited for me along the way so that once it was in the bag, it was simply a matter of getting up at 4am to start final proofing, editing and formatting. Then I published and it was done. In a week or so I will receive the first copies and send seven of them, along with the entry form and fee of $75 to the 2012 Miles-Franklin Prize committee. It is then, as they say, in the lap of the gods. At worst, it cost me a couple of bucks to add another experience to my collection of same and I have another novel for sale from my imprint. At best, I win the 2012 Miles-Franklin, $50,000 prize money and have a major best seller on my hands, at least in Australia.
Some might tut tut in disgust and moan how the book was written so quickly, surely it must be rubbish they will cry. Why? It is 50.173 words long. That averages less than 2,000 words a day and so long as you write that every day you will reach the target. The novel’s theme and general idea have been bouncing around inside my skull for some time and I have mind maps and other planning evidence I have been giving the matter some thought for some time. I had four people whose skills and opinions I trust and value proof the manuscript in chunks, as it was written.. Why wait until the very end to fix the typos and the odd bits that no longer read as you hoped they would when you wrote them? The cover image was obtained from my own front fence and it all tied in with the story, not surprising given the story is about where I live and the people who live here with me. Imaginary versions, anyway.
I have formatted dozens of books over the years and improved every time so I know what I am doing and the internet and Lulu.com and smashwords.com make it so much easier today than when I started doing this in 2003. Now I am working on the promoting and marketing of the book, a few more competitions to enter and whatever else I can do to make it sell a few copies before the M-F Prize is awarded mid 2012. Oh, I also have to stay alive until then because they don’t award it to deceased authors. Stella, I promise I will do my best not to join you up there anytime soon.