Sep 12

First Draft: Done. First Revision Draft: Done

Posted: under Craft, Editing, Life beyond writing, Progress, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  September 12th, 2022

NewBook isn’t *finished*, but it is complete in the sense of beginning, end, middle untangled so the segments are in the right order, some major side issues that belong in the long arc but not this volume sequestered for the next (or after that), and sufficient interior notes to do the next stage.

So…what are we looking at?  It starts the day the two major characters look down from adjoining mountains, one facing east, one looking south.   Everyone in it–whom I thought I knew from the previous books–surprised me at least once and sometimes more than once in the course of the book.  They showed up not when I expected them to, but when they just did.,..they were different than when I saw them last in Crown of Renewal.  Stuff has gone on behind my back, so to speak.  Because of characters’ physical separation, while each character’s plot line is briskly going on about its business, there was “braiding” to be done in this first, structural, revision draft.  Some of that may still be revised in the next revision draft.  But most of the characters are people that veterans of Paksworld, especially the Paladin’s Legacy group, will know, will have seen before…just 5-6 years on from where they were in age, experiences, locations in some cases.

From here–as fast as I can make it happen–NewBook will get its second revision draft, which will deal with remaining structural issues (a few gaps, now clearly marked on the first revision draft) , and its first “construction” revision (where something needs to be built better, so to speak…design is fine but that bit right there is crooked or unsound)  and then its third revision draft, which will deal with its more surface issues: the polishing part.  Third draft should be ready to submit, after a final run past some readers.  If the dental stuff hadn’t slowed me down, I’d be sure it would be done by Oct 1, but now I’m not…this dental thing is supposed to take several more days in the chair, I’ve been warned, and if they break the molar it will have to come out.  Last time I had one pulled it cost me 4-5 days of misery & no work on anything.  However, the later drafts usually (used to) go faster than the first revision, the structural one.

Once it’s clean enough to satisfy me, it goes to my agent, and if it passes him it goes out wherever he sends it (to start with, Del Rey, we’ve already decided) and I start the next one.  Then the decisions are up to someone else, and I’ll just work on what’s next and hope for the best.  It WILL come out in some form or other, if not from a trad publisher then Indie.   It’s certainly not perfect at this point, but it’s complete enough that I’m convinced it’s a real, and satisfying, story.    Right now I’m also having problems with my regular email but I can still access Earthlink’s WebMail, though the book is very close to its size limit on attachments, while Thunderbird was gulping it right down.  Another thing to fix when I have time.  No snippets today–apologies–but I have to feed horses, dress, etc. and get to the dentist this morning.

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Sep 07

The Good News & The Good News

Posted: under Conventions, Editing, Good News, Life beyond writing.
Tags: , ,  September 7th, 2017

Editor has accepted the manuscript of INTO THE FIRE (after the second rewrite) and it’s now in production.  Once the copy edits have come and gone, I’m off the contractual hook, so to speak, with the time to arrange for the medical and dental procedures I need.   Whew!   Because an eye with a cataract in it does not get better on its own, nor does a dental situation.

DragonCon was fun but challenging, as the throat injury was still causing discomfort and some loss of voice strength, and the knee injury didn’t allow the kind of fast, steady walking that going from hotel to hotel makes much easier.  OTOH, I made it, so there.

Renovation on the house next door that we bought to rent has gone well, and it’s now time for the flooring crew to put in the new floors.  Then installation of appliances, final plumber visits and electrical visits, and it’ll be about ready to go.  In the meantime I need to have a talk with our lawyer about “being a landlord of residential property.”  The basics; I’ve never done this before.

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Apr 25

Found Bloopers in Deed of Paksenarrion?

Posted: under Editing, Errata.
Tags:  April 25th, 2017

Richard Simpkin asked over on the Universes blog if it would be possible to fix the various typos, etc. in the first-original mass market paperbacks of the Deed.   He could think of one off the top of his head.  So could I (but I don’t know yet if we had the same one in mind.)   So I’m opening up a topic where you can post the ones you’ve noticed, and meanwhile I’ll ask Baen Books if they’re prepared to fix a few things that slid through.  Please reference the mistakes to the title (since the anniversary edition will be in three separate ones) and if possible the page 3 of the original paperback.   At this point I don’t know how many, if any, of the errors they’re going to have time to fix.  My guess is that they’ll be willing to fix typos & misspellings, but not change the places where it was my research or analysis that went wrong, because that would falsify the “new edition” thing.  Or maybe not.  We’ll see.



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Feb 22

Writing? What Writing?

Posted: under Editing, Life beyond writing.
Tags: ,  February 22nd, 2014

There are still bits of good writing news I can’t talk about yet, and thus am required to look carefully blank about when asked.  But I can say that besides dealing with many other things yesterday, a Paksworld story sold to an anthology showed up with Editor’s marks and comments and would I please get it back to Editor by the 28th.  It went back last night.   Editor did a good job of pointing out some things to fix, one of which I really wish hadn’t been necessary to fix, but…Editor had a point.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 09

Copy Edits

Posted: under Editing.
Tags: , ,  September 9th, 2012

Copy edit checking is under way.  There is muttering, mumbling, and thoughtful staring.    Marking, leaving alone, and changing.

And so on.   The copy edits were crammed into a box a little too flat and far too long,  so they were/are mussed and rumpled, but I’m smoothing and flattening and will send them back in a box that fits.

There will be a few things to talk to Editor about.   (Have I mentioned here how nice it was to meet Editor at WorldCon?  Lovely.    If I had to change Editors mid-series, and I did, I was certainly on the lucky side of the street with this one.)

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Jun 22


Posted: under Editing, the writing life.
Tags:  June 22nd, 2012

Dropping out of the choir concert was definitely the right decision:  the hours I  did not spend driving to and from the city, and in rehearsal, have been put to use, and the lessened strain helped too.   Usually I spend a lot of time in prep for a concert working on the piano at home, listening to rehearsal tapes or CDs of the music, and I like to come into a concert able to “hear” my part in my head the whole way through, no doubts.  This time I couldn’t–and I could not take the time to do the prep work I wanted to do.    That made it harder to concentrate on the edits.

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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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