leap over the chasm

Work in Progress Report: On the Brink

My work in progress is getting closer to becoming a completed and published work: She Who Returns: a sequel.

But it’s not quite there. I’m certainly not rushing. In fact, I’m dithering.

The text is finished. I’ve received and considered suggestions from beta-readers. I’ve made all the major plot changes and reduced the word count from 104K to 95K. I’ve trimmed paragraphs, adjusted sentences, and twiddled with words. I’ve even done the backwards read. (That’s when you start at the final sentence and read each one before it until you get to the first sentence. It’s a great way to find typos because you don’t get caught up in the narrative and overlook errors.)

The next steps are: add back and front matter, finalize the covers, write the book description, pick categories and keywords, and format the document for ebook and print. Then upload and publish!

Maybe it’s because I’m trying to avoid those necessary but tedious tasks, but I’m stuck at the point of “just one more read-through.”

Here’s the problem: every time I do the “final” read-through, I make small changes, like swapping “this” for “that,” or deleting a few redundant words. Even a sentence or two. So then I need to do yet another quick read-through just to make sure I haven’t introduced fresh typos or inadvertently deleted something.

Except when I do that “last” read-through, I can’t resist a few more tweaks. Which means I need to do yet another one. Just in case.

Enough, already!

That’s why I’m issuing myself a deadline and posting it here: She Who Returns will be available for pre-order by the end of March.

She Who Returns: a sequel

France Leighton is studying Egyptology at Miskatonic University and planning a return to Egypt via a field school offered by that institution. But France has a talent for rash decisions, and things are complicated by the arrival of her twin half-brothers from England. Edward and Peter are contrasts; one is a rational scientist, the other a dabbler in the occult. But they are equally capable of persuading France to help them with dubious schemes.
France does return to Egypt, if not quite the way she intended. She encounters old friends and new enemies, and challenges rooted in her previous adventures and her family’s complicated history. What begins as an adventure becomes a desperate situation. On the brink of yet another failure, France has to make hard choices that may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.


  1. Congratulations, Audrey! Setting a deadline helps. I also go through my manuscripts way too many times than is necessary. The final steps, however, signify the end of fixing, changing and tweaking the story, and I like them: finding the right image for the cover, working on front and back matter, even writing the blurbs. And I love formatting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear that you are on the last mile of your project. There are a hundred ways to say anything in English, and the best sounding way changes with the weather, at least for me. Still it is good to be comfortable with what you have written before you publish it and going over it until you are comfortable with it makes it a lot easier to put it out there for everyone. Looking forward to it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know the feeling. I keep doing that kind of read through. I promise myself this will be the last one but then do another one and make more changes. My brother who is a painter tells me that he usually knows when a painting is finished. Maybe book writing is like that. And besides – the thought of publishing a whole of typos you didn’t see is mortifying. Good luck. I keep promising myself I’ll publish by the end of the week but that week keeps getting put forward. Hopefully I’ll publish very soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not an artist, but a painting can be seen all at once, which isn’t the case with a long piece of writing. On the other hand, messing around with part of a painting too much could ruin the whole thing.
      Good luck with publishing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I agree about the difference between painting and writing. I think what he meant was that they are both processes that have an end point. Good luck with your publishing too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My approach is like yours, Audrey. I don’t want to rush the process, particularly since I’m still learning. I think the natural tendency for many is the opposite. Congratulations on approaching the finish line.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your book sounds fascinating, Audrey, and I can so relate to what you’ve been going through. I’ve made the changes based on my beta reader’s suggestions, but I’m still tweaking and procrastinating about sending it to my editor. It’s tiring just thinking about all the tasks ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congratulations Audrey. That image at the start of the post is very captivating.
    So somebody else gets caught in the spiral of ‘That needs a tweak…or two’……’Durn now I have to re-read the tweak!’….Not just me then.
    Wishing you all the best for the launch of this volume, you’ve put a great deal of time and effort into this work.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ll check Pixbay!
            Meanwhile Canva.
            Recently when I downloaded, instead of finding the image directly I was either confronted by a browser icon symbol or one of several messages which revolved around being unable to trace.
            My current work-around for WP is to go to my Canva Home Page, right click to ‘Save’ the selected image’ and then upload it onto ‘Media’ on WP.
            A bit fiddly but it works.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. -hugs and commiserations-

    May I make a small suggestion? Convert the Word doc to ebook format [Calibre], put the ebook onto your reading device – Kindle or tablet – and read as if you were not the writer. More importantly, read knowing you /can’t/ just stop and change things. It’s the only way I’ve found that stops me from reaching for the keyboard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like a good idea. You’re right–not being able to fiddle and twiddle would make a difference. Any real errors could be noted and fixed in a separate operation.
      Actually, I have moved on. Setting a deadline did the trick. The ebook document is now formatted. I’m still working on the book description and keywords (which is a crapshoot, never mind all the advice!). The cover image is finished. Look for a pre-order announcement soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Congratulations! Deadlines work for me too, mostly. lol Looking forward to the pre-order. I haven’t used pre-orders at all, so I’ll be interested in seeing how the whole process goes. Would love it if you could do the odd process post along the way.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes! I intend to do a few posts like that. Whether they’ll be helpful, I don’t know. As for pre-orders, I’ve done them before and can’t really say they’re much better for sales than just releasing a book without a pre-order period. But then, I’m hopeless at marketing. My rationale is while the ebook is on pre-order I can work on formatting the print version so they appear at about the same time.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. lol – I’m hopeless at marketing too. Logistically though, I like the idea of working on the print book during that waiting time.
            Tell you what. I’ll reblog your process posts so we’ll spread the info and, hopefully, the interest. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

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