Jun 08

Buried in the Edits

Posted: under Editing, Life beyond writing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  June 8th, 2012

Just in case you’re wondering where I am, I’m digging through the computer file line by line, while changing things in accordance with (or similarly to, or in a related way to) Editor’s comments.    I don’t always do *exactly* what Editor advised, because in some cases the exact phrase Editor wanted to change isn’t there now (having been expunged in my own editing earlier) and in other cases I see what I (no doubt arrogantly) think is a better fix to the problem Editor pointed out.   (I’m nearly always agreeing that what Editor points out is indeed something to be pondered and then fixed.)

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May 25

Editor’s Letter Arrives: Much Rejoicing

Posted: under Editing, Limits of Power, the writing life.
Tags:  May 25th, 2012

Remember how I said I was impressed and grateful that NewEditor (hereinafter known as Editor) had read through the whole monster pile of the preceding books?    The proof is in the editorial letter I just received this afternoon.  WOW.  As in,  I have landed in the lap (OK, laptop or desktop or whatever) of another great editor.  An editor who is going to help me make LIMITS and Book V better than I could possibly make them on my own.

It’s not that I doubted her editorial skills before,  especially since (like anyone who’s been in the business this long) I inquired delicately of people who’d worked with her and got rave responses.   But with so much backstory to get through, and all her other work, I wondered how much she could grasp of the whole Paksworld mythos, having to read at top speed.    And there’s also the chemistry thing.   Sometimes it’s not the book, the writer, or the editor…but just a lack of spark between editor and book, or editor and writer.

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Sep 24

Alpha-Readers: sharpen your pencils

Posted: under Editing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  September 24th, 2011

Rotten no-good cold or no rotten no-good cold, I still should finish (or nearly finish) the main draft of the new book by Oct 1, and within a week of that should have it roughly in order.  (It’s not now, because of the various medical interruptions–to keep going, I wrote in whatever part of the story cooperated that day, so it’s added branches to its trunk fairly randomly. )

So:   I will need some alpha readers who are strong on the structural side (the nit-picking comes later.)  The rough sort I’ll do to get this out to people may not be accurate.     Given my aging memory, I can’t recall who, exactly, was on the last couple of alpha-reader lists (which I’ve misplaced, you see…DUH) so if you want to trudge through 160,000 (roughly) words of  very unfinished manuscript setting a trail for revision to follow, contact me by email.   There will be the usual “makes the publisher happy” agreements not to reveal anything prematurely to deal with.

Thanks, and I’m off to get from 156,300 to 160,000+ as fast as I can.

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May 20

Copy Editing: Results

Posted: under Editing, the writing life.
Tags:  May 20th, 2011

820 pages have now been gone over in detail one direction, front to back.   Next comes the (usually faster) reverse sequence, back to front.  I’ve already seen all the CE’s marks, and have made most (sometimes all) of my marks.  More “stets” may be applied, or some “stets” may be withdrawn.    Usually, in the last half of a book, both CE and I are getting sick of it, and begin to do things mechanically in a way that’s not best for you readers.  So if I have the time I always go backwards on the second run.

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May 17

Copy Editing: Process

Posted: under Editing, the writing life.
Tags:  May 17th, 2011

A visual look at how I work with copy edits.

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May 14

Copy Edits

Posted: under Echoes of Betrayal, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: ,  May 14th, 2011

Copy Edits are, in the best of times, a nerve-wracking proposition, because CEs, unlike one’s own marvelous, wonderful, thoughtful, brilliant Editor, are professional nitpickers.   If you don’t have a nitpicker mentality yourself (and most storytellers don’t) and if you have a feel for the needs of fiction as opposed to, say, a sociology textbook (and most storytellers do) the more rigid CEs will drive you batty.    Good CEs, as I’ve said before, are pearls beyond price and save your bacon.   Not-so-good CEs become embroiled in trying to rewrite your work to suit their notions, and in the process miss actual mistakes they should catch.

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Feb 17

Revisions (almost) Done

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  February 17th, 2011

It took longer than it should have, thanks to getting sick (at which point my brain goes duuhhhhhhh… and can’t see the sense in a sentence) but Editor Revisions are second-run done.  Now to see if Editor agrees with what I’ve done with what she did.

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Feb 15

A Writer’s Day(s)

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , , , ,  February 15th, 2011

Today has been not-quite-typical but sufficiently full of writing stuff that you might find it interesting.   Though it started not with writing stuff but with the car making odd noises the last time I had it out.

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Feb 03

The Juggling Act

Posted: under Crisis of Vision, Editing, Kings of the North, Life beyond writing, Marketing, Oath of Fealty, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  February 3rd, 2011

Writers with what I call Engineer Mind have perfectly organized desks and files.   I’ve met a few of those.   I’m not one.  I have what I call Writer Mind (in lieu of calling it Chaos Mind.)    All my organizational skill goes into the writing…none is left over for anything else.

This becomes even more obvious when I’m faced with competing demands on organizational ability.

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Jan 31

Shifting Gears

Posted: under Craft, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  January 31st, 2011

Shifting gears to working on revisions/corrections makes Book IV grumpy and me…a bit confused.    Did I really write that?   What was I thinking?   Was I thinking, or perhaps indulging in stream of consciousness?

In addition, while waiting for the pages Editor is sending with her markings on them (75 pages, she told me today…ouch!)  I have her notes and the notes and comments of two alpha readers and my agent.   One alpha reader deserves the honorable title of Nitpicker Extraordinary (and it is honorable, in this instance) and the other is a Characterization Maven who instantly notices a character acting out of character (or not showing the development that other events show must have occurred.)     Editor is multitalented, of course, so her comments range from deep structure to pacing to surface detail.

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