It’s been a decade since I started To Hunt a Sub. I took a break and wrote the sequel when I couldn’t find a publisher, then returned to a series I started fifteen years ago about early man (called The Evolution Files). After an aborted attempt to work with an agent, I returned to To Hunt a Sub. I couldn’t put it behind me until I put it out there for the world. I decided to fix its problems, then finish/publish my other two completed novels before moving on to a new topic.
I started that last year (more on that soon). I might be a month away from finishing my WIP, To Hunt a Sub–vastly different from ‘publishing’ it. By ‘finished’, I mean I’ve:
- wordsmithed it
- made sure all plot points follow
- fact-checked it–important in this novel because it includes lots of details that will turn people away if I get them wrong
- searched out all the examples where I mistakenly and.boringly:
- used generic descriptions
- used passive voice
- showed rather than told
- used filler words like ‘just’ and ‘that’
- cleared out redundancies
- made sure dialogue is relevant and tagged properly
- made sure pacing befits a thriller (non-stop, lots of crises, faster as the book progresses)
- added enough personal detail to make my characters likeable and interesting (that’s not something that came naturally to me)
- double-checked chapter titles and numbers
I have a question for you-all: I cover topics that may be confusing or foreign to readers (like Trident Refit Facilities, magnetic signatures). Of course I explain them in scene, hopefully non-pedagogically, but I was thinking of adding links in the book to more thorough discussions on them for those interested, or simply images.
What do you think? Should I enhance my novel with interactive links? Or not? Vote below:
I’m also working on a tag line. Does this one make you want to read the book:
A single mother, a washed-up SEAL, and an AI team up to save America’s Trident submarines.
I sure could use your help on both of these polls.
Jacqui Murray is the author of dozens of books (on technology in education) as well as the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education which you can find on Structured Learning (a collaborative publisher).