Thursday, 18 July 2013

First to Final Draft: Bruno Penny with thanks to Abi Truelove

Between the first draft and the final version, Bruno Penny underwent about 5 major changes.

The original was my first ever Nanowrimo story and as such contained many, many off topic conversations, songs, and unnecessary events.

At one point Bruno went into his room and refused to come out, but just lay there listening to the radio for a few hours, which was annoying.

As you can see, the title was also a Nanoesque 16 words long. For some unknown reason, Bruno's dad suddenly declared that he loved Duran Duran songs. So, in my original, personal version there were several musical interludes while the characters variously sang The Reflex, or A View to A Kill.

But eventually, the story started to come together. Eventually, when one of the Nano moderators gave a key writing prompt, I realised what was actually going on. I can't say what it was because it would give the game away. Something about a dog.

At one point during editing, I even wrote to the manager of Duran Duran to ask her if I could use the lyrics in my book. I was secretly hoping that she would show the book to the band and they would immediately fall in love with it and they would start promoting it at their concerts or something. I even knew what I would wear when they introduced me on stage at Wembley.

Funnily enough, she showed it to the band's lawyers instead. They said no. And I really got why after listening to a radio phone-in about people using copyrighted material without permission!

Thanks Abi!
After editing the book myself a gazillion times, to my horror, I was re-reading it and still finding it full of mistakes - commas and speech marks in the wrong place, grammatical misdemeanours etc.

Then through the Amazon message boards I heard of an editor who was looking to promote her work by offering incredibly reasonable editing: Abi Truelove.
I was amazed when she accepted my manuscript, and humbled when she did exactly what she had offered: a few weeks later, the fully edited manuscript appeared full, of suggestions and improvements.

So Bruno Penny had finally arrived in completed form.

It's called 'self-publishing', but in reality, many people are involved along the way. Thank you!

Bruno Penny: Norbert de Strangle and the Great Museum Robbery

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