Friday, March 7, 2014

Resurrecting Manuscripts

By Chester Campbell

A lot of multi-published authors got their start with several years of rejections. After additional years of successfuly-published novels, some resurrected their early inventory and re-submitted them for publication. That's how my Post Cold War Political Thriller Trilogy came into being. After five Greg McKenzie mysteries and two Sid Chance PI novels, I turned to the first three manuscripts I wrote after taking up fiction on retiring in 1989.

I had written the first book using a simple word processor that required creating a different file for each chapter. After losing the agent who was pitching the book, I moved on to the next one and left the first manuscript on my office floor. Fortunately, somewhere along the line I consolidated the computer version into a single Word file.

In  2012 I loaded the file for Beware the Jabberwock and began revising it based on the accumulated knowledge about fiction writing I had acquired over the intervening years. Some of it involved eliminating overly descriptive passages. I also refined information that I had been a bit unsure about originally. And with my editor's help, I added some scenes that helped sharpen the tension.

After publication of the first book, I tackled the second in the trilogy, The Poksu Conspiracy. I discovered the original computer file had been lost, though I still had a printout of the manuscript. I bundled up the paper copy and shipped it off to a service that returned it in a digital file. Then I repeated the process I had gone through with Jabberwock. I had started this one with a long prologue, which gave a lot of background on one of the main characters in addition to information on how the Korean peninsula evolved into the situation that existed at the time of the story (fall of 1993.) I scrapped the prologue, working some of it into later chapters, and began with Burke Hill, the protagonist, in 1993.

I then turned to book three, which, after several changes, had become Overture to Disaster. This was the most ambitious project, involving parallel plots that started in the Ukraine (sound familiar?) and Washington, DC. It involves several issues that sound like it came from today's news, including nerve gas shells fired at crowds of civilians and hardliners hoping to re-establish the Soviet Union.

Overture has been published only as an ebook for the Kindle. I haven't really promoted it and there are no reviews on Amazon. So I decided it was time to do something about the situation. Tomorrow (Saturday, March 8) through Monday, Overture to Disaster will be free on Amazon during a BookBub promoton that will bring it to the attention of thousands of readers. We'll see what happens. If you would like a copy, click on this link and download yours. If you do, I'd appreciate a brief review on Amazon.

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1 comment:

Chester Campbell said...

Just realized I made a major gaffe! The book that's free tomorrow is the first of the trilogy, Beware the Jabberwock - Sorry about that.