On Friday, I completed the first draft of my second novel, currently titled “Baseball Girl.” This sucker is seriously in motion.
So, what does one do now that it’s complete?
Well, my friends, now begins the difficult part, the part where you have to be critical of yourself, change things that are not working, and make sure your characters’ voices remain their voices, even if they develop and grow during the course of the novel. As well, it’s time to look at the overall plot and consider any flaws that may be lurking within its pages.
As my fictitious love story is about a young woman who works in the field of professional baseball as a member of the front office, she has to feel real. If I miss the mark on this, it is my own fault. My 13 years of working in professional baseball (from age 19 until the age of 33) should be an asset to creating a genuine feel to the book.
Combing through the copy of the novel—every page scrutinized—takes patience. You can’t do it in one sitting; it must be done over time. I typically read about 20-30 pages a day and evaluate what’s happening in the chapters, if there are inconsistencies, correct any grammar and punctuation problems I come across, and make sure the story flows well overall. I have incorporated a lot of baseball quotes into the novel (made up quotes, of course, by fictitious baseball characters), and those have to align with each chapter. As well, there are flashbacks that occur, and those must feel authentic, as they relate to my protagonist’s childhood.
I am seriously considering self-publishing this novel, as I did with my first, for five significant reasons:
1-I love the control I have over the novel.
2-I get to be the writer AND the editor…and can change and alter what I want, not what someone else tells me I have to do. (When I worked at the Orioles, I was the editor of Orioles Magazine and enjoyed being the decision-maker on the content of the publication. As well, I edited each piece that was published).
3-I already have a cover concept which my friend and primo photographer, Jenny, is going to shoot tomorrow.
4-I found self-publishing to be rewarding, fun, educational, challenging, and I relished handling all the public relations for the book.
5-I have a full-time job as a professor, which I love, and which takes up a great deal of my time. I also love writing, but consider it my hobby, not my livelihood. I do it simply for the love of writing and reading and unleashing my own creativity.
Anyway, I’ll keep you posted. I’m hoping to get this thing in people’s hands this summer.
After all, if I go this route, I get to control its destiny.