Apologies for the radio silence, readers. I went on holiday, and somehow all my plans to get ahead of myself and schedule posts before I went didn’t work out.
I suspect they didn’t work out because I was sadly behind on deadlines. I’d intended a week completely free of writing to unwind entirely, but that didn’t go to plan, either and I ended up writing the last 4,000 words of the middle book of my fantasy series while I was there.
Don’t feel too sorry for me, however, because this was my view. It was so relaxing and so inspiring that the last 4k words flowed (fairly) effortlessly.
Now I’m back in the real world it’s time for the proper work to start: revisions! And in the meantime, my designer is hard at work and I hope to have a cover to share with you soon – watch this space.
I’m in the middle of revising. I enjoy revising. And I hate it. Other writers may feel the same – or differently.
*For clarity – revising is what I call the editing done by myself. Editing editing is done in consultation with a real, live editor who hasn’t lived through the development of the book and so can point out all the horrible flaws I didn’t notice.
Once I have a completed draft in my hands, my revising goes from the big stuff down to the tiniest detail, taking as many passes through as necessary. My current wip (The Last Dreamseer) has been through several revisions, with a considerable amount of chopping and changing already done. I’m content that scenes are happening in the right order, so, while I’m not yet studying the existence of every comma (that’ll come later), I’m scrutinising what happens in each of those scenes to make sure it’s pulling its weight as far as the story goes.
My key aim while revising is to figure out what questions I should be asking. I think improving a book rests on asking the right questions – why does the character do that and not something else; what is this dialogue aiming to communicate – the ideas, not the specific words. Once I know what a scene or a conversation is “doing”, then I can figure out whether I’ve got the right words.
So I’m working my way through the wip, peering squinty-eyed at the characters, demanding to know what they think they’re doing all the time. Fortunately, they don’t seem to mind. Maybe they know I’m doing it for their own good – I do keep muttering that it’ll be worth it in the end, and perhaps they can hear!