Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Picture this ... no, please don't.

Oh the glamour of writing!

It's a good job you can't see me this week, because that meme is almost literally true. We're having a late-summer heatwave here so I am hunched in front of the PC, editing, in a stained dressing gown. I don't manage lunch until 3pm. I don't manage to get dressed or even brush my teeth until 7pm some days.

It's a good job Mr Ashbless is working from home because the sum total of my interaction with the household is to slouch downstairs and stare balefully into the fridge. The dogs are wondering why I don't love them anymore...

Anyways, this is how primary editing of The Valleys of the Earth goes:

  1. 1st draft finished!
  2. Insert scenes and bits thought of since writing "THE END". This takes longer than you think.
  3. Re-read the first book in the trilogy, make notes on everything from eye-colour thru individual character vocabulary.
  4. Lie awake at night worrying that the 2nd book is not actually as good as the 1st, but that I can't see where it all went wrong, because author myopia. 
  5. First edit, with special attention to spelling, pacing and sex-scenes. I've a tendency to be too terse near the end, so will probably need to include more descriptive detail in the final chapter. Discover I've added about 3K words to the text :-O
  6. Re-format to a lean mean Times New Roman machine, getting rid of all the damn tabs 'n' double spaces 'n' shit. Ellipses and hyphens.
  7. Lie awake at night worrying that my hero is too dominant, my heroine too annoying, and that I am heinously guilty of cultural appropriation and will be burnt in effigy by my readers, should I ever find any.
  8. Second edit, preferably read out loud to make sure of sentence flow. EVERY. GODDAMN. WORD
  9. Attempt third edit, realise I've actually gone blind and am no longer capable of reading anything at all.
  10. Give up and, weeping with despair, send book into publisher.
  11. Drink. Await criticism, instructions to rewrite, and the start of line edits


Jo said...

Sounds good to me.

Even if it's not as good as the first one, it'll still be good. Yep.

Simon said...

I'm currently at Stage 8. You are not alone. *weeps*

Janine Ashbless said...

I am in good company, at least!