Tuesday 9th January 2018
I’ve been feeling pretty invisible today. I’m waiting on an email and a friend who’s currently without a mobile and said there was a 50/50 chance they’d come round, didn’t. I’ve also been monitoring how much stress the day job gives me, and have watched my levels rise in the last week. Given that a work colleague confided in me that they feel the same and that it could come to a head very soon, I don’t feel so bad for feeling the way I do.
But in many ways, today should have been a disappointing day, all stress and none of the simple joys that help alleviate it. But upon realising I had an entire evening to myself, I dove into the edits and got a load done.
Now at this stage I’m really just looking at structural stuff. I’m still giving the prose a bit of a polish but what I’m looking for are the plot inconsistencies, the character arcs, the flow of the narrative.
Something different I’m doing is keeping a separate word document with notes. Even over half way through the novel, there’s not more than a page of notes. I have simple things like “Chapter 12 – introduce members of other team” or “Chapter 18 – Is the duel to the death or first blood?”
I’ve got little things to do. I’ve been pretty good at reintroducing the characters so that those weird readers who start with book 2 in a series don’t feel lost, but I did realise that I haven’t done the same with description and need to add some pieces in.
All in all I reckon it’s a couple of nights to do everything currently listed.
I always find editing slow. I get to a problem passage and stop. At first I’m not sure what the problem is. Something just feels wrong. I have to physically stop and think about it. It could end up being out of character, a repeat of things already said or just a clunky sentence but I can never tell right away. I always have to stop and think, and sometimes that means walking away.
But last night, either I wasn’t doing as detailed a job as I normally do (which is OK, as I’ll be coming back to this) or I was quicker at fixing problems. For once I actually got further along than I hoped and ended up editing 5 or 6 chapters.
Despite all my “second novel in a series jitters” I’m really liking this book. It has some pretty solid themes and I like how it deepens the characters. Of course, at some point I’ll hand it to my beta reader or agent and they’ll come back with a hundred different ways it’s broken but that’s the nature of the business.
But for where I want this book to be right now, I’m really happy. My aim is to get a solid first draft and then see if a publisher wants any changes to Black as Knight that would necessitate major changes to book 2.
Given that I’ve already got some strong ideas on book 3 that I intend to start sketching out once this edit is done, it could be that I have a very rough first draft of book 3 before I even sell book 1. I normally advise against that for most writers as it’s better to have 3 first novels than 2 sequels you can’t sell once the first book gets rejected, but I have a load of first novels already and hope to write the first draft of a new series sometime this year if Black as Knight has yet to be picked up.
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