Not dead, just pining for the fjords

Ack. So much for daily blog posts.

But, having returned from New York I’ve been up to my neck in work, not only taking care of a few bits of important writing-related admin, but also getting stuck into the beta edits on Seven Wonders. This manuscript is due to be delivered at the end of the month, and with the major fixes in place it’s now at the endless re-read stage. This is vital, as I need to see the bigger picture when it comes to making the final adjustments.

Speaking of which, over at I Will Read Books you can read part two of my writing process guest post, in which I talk about the phases of the first draft, and what happens next.

Oddly enough, having written about the beta reading process, and now going through the beta edit phase of Seven Wonders, it’s occurred to me that a change in methodology is likely to occur from now on. Seven Wonders is the last of my unagented material to go out the door. From now on – actually, from The Novel Formerly Known As Ludmila My Love on – everything goes through her first, and as a former editor herself, she knows her onions. When I met with her a couple of weeks ago, we discussed the whole process and I agreed wholeheartedly when she said that everything needs to be edited within an inch of its life. Quality is everything.

While this doesn’t mean my beta reading process is to be abandoned, it does mean it can be altered a little. Instead of five or six people, I just need a couple I can trust to go through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, as a manuscript will go through a rigorous professional edit anyway before a publisher sees it. This certainly simplifies things – finding beta readers is difficult, and I’ve burdened my group quite heavily this year. I’ve also done beta reading of full novels for others this year, and I sure know how difficult and time-consuming it is.

I’ve also been busy reading – not just the New 52 from DC Comics, but the rather splendid Ready Player One by Ernie Cline. Having devoured that marvellous book in a few days (seriously, read it), I’m back into my journey through Stephen King’s work in publication order and have started Roadwork, the third of his Richard Bachman books. Having been burned by Firestarter (get it?), it’s taken me a long time to get back into it, and I had been warned off Roadwork by a couple of people. But so far I’m really enjoying it… while nothing much has happened yet (I understand that not much does in the whole book), it is at least beautifully written.

In other news: as mentioned before I’ll be at FantasyCon in Brighton this year, and I’m doing a reading from Empire State at 4pm on Friday 30th September, in Room 134 at the Royal Albion Hotel. It’ll be a different chapter to the one up on Tor.com, and there’ll be time for a chat too, so I hope to see you there!

  • Kai Savage

    Hope to see you at FantasyCon Adam. I’ve had a very difficult year, something I may make public later, hence me disappearing from the bloggersphere for quite some time. I have kept abreast of your developments though and want to offer you a belated but heartfelt congratulations on your publishing deal with Angry Robot, its a fantastic achievement.

    It’s a crucial point your make about multiple editors. I think its very easy to want lots of people to read our work and get as many opinions as possible, but this can end up confusing what is already, often, a very confusing process.