Author Stan Schatt Stan Schatt has written thirty books on a wide variety of topics including a chapter book for children, a YA novel, biographies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and books on technology and career changing. His love for teaching is reflected in outstanding teaching awards he received from the University of Southern California and DeVry Institute of Technology. Rather than having one career, Schatt has had several. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, an English professor, a software trainer, a law enforcement administrator, a market research executive, and a sales manager.
Q. What's your first thought when finishing a novel?
A. The first time I finished a novel, I felt such joy and feelings of accomplishment that I immediately submitted the manuscript to agents. That's right. I had re-read the manuscript and figured it now was ready for publication. Suffice it to say that particular novel never saw the light of day and never was published.
Now I look forward to finishing a novel because I then can turn to the part of the writing process that gives me a lot of satisfaction. Once I've "finished" my novel, I love to go back and keep tweaking the book. That means rewriting dialog and descriptions, adding more context, and adding more depth to minor characters. It also is the time that I replace weak words with words that pack more power. In one case, I actually wound up rewriting the entire novel and changing it from third person to first person. Once, I changed the gender of the main character.
When I finally finish rewriting my novel and feel that it's truly finished and ready for submitting to publishers and/or agents, I have mixed feelings. Of course I feel a sense of accomplishment. I also feel a sense of relief. There's no denying that writing a novel is an intense experience.
I also can't help but feel a certain amount of apprehension when I finish a book because next comes the part of the book production process that makes me and a lot of writers most uncomfortable. Most writers are not extroverts. Once a book is completed, writers have to start worrying about getting a book noticed. That means if you're self-publishing or even publishing the book with a small publisher, trying to find readers becomes a real challenge. Which bloggers are willing to review the book? Will the local librarian or bookstore manager allow me to do a reading?
I guess finishing a book generates the same complex feelings you have when your child is born. You are unbelievably happy and relieved. You also can't help being a bit apprehensive because of the challenges ahead.
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