Jan 12

Working on the Book

Posted: under Characters, Craft, Horngard, Progress, the writing life.
Tags: , , , ,  January 12th, 2024

The first chapter of Horngard I is now tighter, cleaner, more direct, less allusive.  Starts in POV of major character.  Sets out the initial situation directly.  Introduces second POV character, hours later than the original start.   Better, in other words.  I’m now charging through the other chapters (agent had a copy I’d sent him in October; I’d lost my copies here, as you know, so it was seeing it very fresh indeed.)    Every place that my eyelids sag (before midnight; sagging at midnight is normal.  Right now I’m waiting for the dryer to finish with a load of wash that suddenly had to be done at about 10:30 pm.)

For instance, Gwennothlin Marrakai is taking her youngest brother Julyan on a trip and includes moving some horses from the Marrakai estate somewhere else.  I had, in the previous file, a sketch map of the journey, a timeline, a note of every horse, its name, its breeding, its color, its size.   Today I was reading along, early in that journey and they stopped for lunch and then…I spent most of a paragraph on the horses.  Not interesting stuff about the horses, not enlivening details that also show I know what I’m describing, but…she helps Julyan get on the horse she wants him to ride that afternoon, and in the process of that tells the reader (only some of whom will care) the horse’s name, breeding, color, and size.  Does any of this matter at any point in the story?  No. Does Julyan care?  No.  I found myself mentally staring at the 11 year old kid, who darn well ought to be able to mount that horse without help, and at the horse (which is not going to DO anything remarkable at any point!) and erased a paragraph.  After lunch they started off upstream on the trail.   It’s not about a mare named Daisy.  It IS about one of the horses in particular, but right now they’re going to ride south, upstream, day after day until they’re….never mind.  Lips are sealed.  THAT bit has details that matter.

More of that section–the travel–will also come out because it’s a separate sort of sequence that ties into the main sequence down the line.   “The Chainsaw of Correction…” is snarling in my ear.

On the other hand, I’m still very happy with the battle scenes.  Gritty.

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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 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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Dec 10

Home Stretch

Posted: under Craft, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  December 10th, 2010

Pruning, re-ordering, and now gap-filling…chapters have numbers now, and are in what I believe (!) is the correct order, all 33 of them.    Some are much longer than others, and some of the very VERY long ones may be split.    Very short ones may be combined (if same POV and adjacent.)

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May 11

Copy Edits Done…

Posted: under Craft, Editing, the writing life.
Tags: , ,  May 11th, 2010

….Almost.   Still a few more things to be done before shipping them back to NYC.   I need to rewrite the Dedication, write the Acknowledgments, and run back through the text to catch a couple of things I think I may have done wrong.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Sep 26


Posted: under Life beyond writing, Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  September 26th, 2009

(Aside–it’s really hard to talk about some of this without spoilers for those who hate spoilers…so if you avsolutely hate spoilers, you might want to skip what’s below…)

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Sep 19

Page Proofs Done

Posted: under the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  September 19th, 2009

Page proofs are the stage of proofing where you realize what you should have done in revisions (but didn’t), and copy edits (ditto.)    And you can’t make big changes in page proofs.  Well, not without arousing the fury of everyone involved, anyway.

But there are compensations.

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Aug 29

Unplanned Pause in Countdown

Posted: under Revisions, the writing life.
Tags: ,  August 29th, 2009

Thank you Google (NOT) for costing me some days of work to fill out your stupid forms to remove my work from your clutches.

It is impossible for a writer to just say “Do not include any of my work in your digitization.”  It’s not even possible to say “Do not include any editions of this work, foreign or domestic.”  No, you have to go through the whole damnfool search & destroy procedure for every single version of every single title and sometimes you hit the wrong button and have to start over.

Also I’m printing out the current draft of Book Two because I need to see it off the screen.   So there will be a hiatus until I’ve dealt with Google (not, alas, with a flaming sword) and gotten my stuff “claimed.”

Those of you waiting for word on being alpha readers, or having already cleared the hurdle and waiting for the whole ms, my apologies.  The wait will last a bit longer.  I’m not spending my Saturday dozing in the sun, I can tell you that!

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Aug 21

Production News

Posted: under artwork, Editing, Marketing, the writing life.
Tags: , , ,  August 21st, 2009

I’ve been told I’ll be getting the page proofs early in September.   This is the step that produces ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies, or review copies.)   As of September, we’re only six months from publication…scary thought.

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