I am working a little bit every day finishing the edits on this story, and when I am done and I have the cover art chosen, I suppose it will be time to pick a self-publishing venue. At some point last year, I went to several self-publishing/print on demand websites and asked for an information brochure. It’s funny how many of them took that as meaning I was signing up for their service, rather than shopping around for one. I don’t want to be rushed into making a choice, since I have heard some horror stories about these places and I want time to do research, which I just haven’t done up until now as I finish the manuscript. Enough time has gone by that most of them have stopped calling and emailing me, all except XLibris, which has this one persistent salesguy or whatever you call them. I think “agent” would be a misnomer here. They keep having sales on their services and he is trying to use that as a wedge to get me to sign up.
I had a heck of a time “outlining” chapter 4, by which I mean, cobbling together the various elements I want in the chapter into a coherent narrative. I am trying not to have a 185,000-word manuscript when I am done, which means those dozens of long, leisurely scenes in which my archeological investigators go about uncovering the clues in the main mystery of the novel are a luxury I can’t afford. I need to cover big chunks of their investigation as paragraph-long “this already happened” summaries that bring the reader to a present moment where an intriguing puzzle is set that defines the current action of the chapter.
I managed to get that done. Then the next challenge was that I decided to write the chapter, which is formatted as a four-scene day-in-the-life of my main character, not from her own (limited third person) point of view, but from the (limited third-person) point of view of a different friend or colleague she interacts with in each of the scenes. While I might not keep the chapter written that way in future drafts, this is really helping me bring out what a pain in the @$$ my character is supposed to be, which is what I want to explore. I may well keep the chapter this way, even though three of the four characters whose points of view I feature may not appear “on stage” again.