Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Doctor Luke's Assistant, Writing and Status

The idea for Doctor Luke's Assistance came to me in the late 1990s, based on my study of the scriptures, and harmonizing the gospels. I thought through a plot for a couple of years, but hesitated writing it. To think I had the ability or stamina enough to write a novel seemed self-aggrandizing.

I began writing Doctor Luke's Assistant in late fall 2000. I had a basic idea of what I wanted to accomplish, including major and sub-plot lines. I completed 15,000 words, then put it away as life got busy. I picked it up again in late 2001, and worked mostly steady through 2002, completing it on January 8, 2003.

I've since been through it three complete times. The first time through was for consistency of plot, and adding descriptions where needed. The second time through was for adding a plot line and to make the story consistent throughout. The third time through was for improvement in language: eliminating passive voice, making the dialog more natural, and the language more concise.

I am now in my fourth round of edits, reading each chapter slowly, looking for anything odd or out of place, for a wrong word, a missing quotation mark, an excess modifier. I have done this through chapter 32; only 33 through 36 remain. At that time, for the moment I will consider the book complete, and will cease editing.

I have submitted Doctor Luke's Assistant to all the CBA publishers that don't require agented submittals, and all turned it down. Now I'm submitting it to agents. Well, actually I met with an agent at a conference this past November, and he like the pitch enough to ask me for a partial submittal. I haven't heard anything. My plan is to finish the edits, then wait and see what the agent says. At that point I will shift gears to Documenting America, or possibly to a second novel.

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