I wrote a plan for a science fiction story which was
just a paragraph outlining the main story. This was before the time of
personal computers so this book was
handwritten! The first draft was almost all of the final work. It was
revised once by hand, crossing out and scribbling between the lines.
Then I typed it out adding a few minor changes as I went producing 219
of A4, about 87000 words. You won't be doing this! Writing in the
evenings and at weekends, the book
took about two and a half years to complete.
I looked at a copy of the "Writers' and Artists' Yearbook" from the
library. I found publishers and agents who dealt with science fiction
and selected five. This book, published annually, remains a source to
find agents who might be suitable for your work.
I photocopied five copies and posted them to the publishers/agents with
an accompanying letter.
received one 'no thanks' and one letter from an agent suggesting there
needed to be more characterisation and three copies disappeared into
I knew that it had taken many famous authors numerous attempts,
certainly up to twenty, before their first book was accepted for
publication. However, photocopying and posting the book was expensive
working fulltime with young children left little time for further
efforts. I decided to wait until I retired before attempting the
In the meantime I wrote outlines for other stories as they came into my
head. Never loose your ideas - write them down.
I have converted the book into wordprocessor files by scanning the
typed pages with OCR software (Optical Character Recognition), revised
the story a little and published it as an e-book.