The Empathy Epidemic Back-story

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The Empathy Epidemic Back-story

Post by Phill » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:19 pm

From the Books In Progress Thread wrote:The Empathy Epidemic is a story I started in 2007. I came up with the notion of what would happen to the world if everyone suddenly contracted a case of empathy and started writing then, but put it away for five years due to a lack of direction in the story.

I'm pleased to say that it's currently "finished" and we're in the laborious process of editing it.

Although it was started five years ago, and I had almost 25000 words on it, I only used about 8000 words and tossed the rest. Inspiration comes at odd times but once I got the inspiration to finish Empathy, I got the job done in about a month. The pre-edited version was a little under 74,000 words. With half of it done with the first round of editing, it's over 75,000 after cutting about 4000 words. I expect to add more, but am shooting for something less than 87,000 words.

I've even started on the cover art, although that may change radically before I'm done. I don't have any samples of it yet.

There is still quite a way to go on getting the editing done. I wasn't entirely happy with some of the parts of the "let's talk about what happened" section of the book where all is mostly revealed.

I'm HOPING to have the editing done by the end of the month and getting it out on my author page shortly thereafter. When it is, it will be available in both print and e-book. I will also be using this book as a primary entree' into the "real" publishing world, with a focus on "first time" authors getting published. Given my Great American Library, I'm hoping I can entice someone to take a chance on my work.

I'm not entirely happy with The Empathy Epidemic right now. There are parts (which have yet to be edited) that need some clarification and fixing, but once those are done, I'm going to be feeling very good about it. Watch this space for future announcements.

The first round of editing on The Empathy Epidemic has been completed and we're moving on to phase 2 - the second round. I'll also be working on the cover art in the next couple of weeks. The original idea didn't pan out so it's being completely re-done.

The first round of editing showed where the major weaknesses in the story were - inconsistencies and loose threads that needed to be tied up. This resulted in adding 12,000 or so words to the story in order to close up holes and bring closure to some things that had previously been left up to the imagination. That doesn't include the 20,000 words that were cut out because they didn't match up with what was needed. It's a much better read, now and is in the neighborhood of 84,000 words. That's considered the first-timer "sweet spot" for most traditional publishers. Much shorter, it's not much of a story. Too much longer, it's too much of an investment in printing costs to be profitable.

We're now going over the mechanical parts, making sure grammar and those words that are spelled correctly are typed wright, er, right for the sentence. The new changes will also be looked at for consistency and pace. A final round of editing will look at what was changed from round two, and make sure it's all right. The release date will likely be postponed a couple of weeks to the beginning of the year (the holidays SUCK for getting important things like writing done!), but I don't anticipate any drastic issues in the editing. What took weeks to edit took only hours to fix. So once the editing is done, the book should be ready to go within a day or two.
As I mentioned in the books in progress, the Empathy Epidemic was started in 2007. It was based on a discussion of if we had the power, what would we do? My answer was, "Give mankind a conscience".

With that thought in mind, I decided a book about empathy would be interesting. I wrote 25,000 words on it and stopped for a lack of direction. (That actually happens to me a lot - one of those "it's a GREAT concept, but what do I DO with it???" things.) It took five years to figure out what to do with it, but once I did, it took only a few weeks to finish it.

Then came the editing. Oh my god, what a phenomenal pain in the ass! There are places in the book where over 100,000 words were written - over and over and over again - JUST for that part. I had more problems getting that part of the book (and you folks can post guesses where that may be) right. I'm STILL not sure it's "perfect", but I think I get the points across that I wanted to.
It's been added to my Amazon list of books (the link is here.) More importantly it's been entered into the Amazon Breakthrough Novelist Award contest. The same one that lit a fire under me to get my books out there (and, by the way, create my Facebook page and this forum).

I received a lot of help from Becky and a reader named Brian O'Donnell, who submitted a lot of those niggling little errors that are hard to catch - interpolation errors, missed punctuation, correctly spelled words that weren't quite right. One of the things it taught me was to always, Always, ALWAYS read my books out loud before I publish them.

My wife and roomie may hate me, but I need to read it out loud to catch those things. Books are harder to do that, but eh, it's life.

And the contest first round has been finished. I am please to announce that I'm moving on to the second round. Of course, those moving on to the second round weren't judged on their books, but the pitch for them. If I make it to the third round, it's because my book excerpt is acceptable to the judges.

So that will be announced on March 12th. Either way, the updated books are up on Amazon. Please see the board index section for the list of books I have out there.