December is nearly over and I haven’t managed to get my fingers on the keyboard to write a single blog entry. In fact I owe an apology for my lack of activity of late. I haven’t set pixel to paper since October and that’s not the sort of rate of correspondence I’m hoping to maintain. I will say that I’m still getting used to a new job and there have been a trio of holidays to contend with – Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Yule to name names.
Regardless, there is news from the writer’s desk. As of this week I’ve completed the second edit of my forthcoming novel, Time of Death and it has been sent back to the publisher. As of the present, the expected release date remains September 2011. I’ll provide updates as they become available.
So, the work goes back underground. Steadily growing and evolving into the piece that will emerge into the sunlight when September rolls around. For those of you who write or are thinking about writing, the process so far has been pretty simple. The first editor focuses on larger edits, finding confusing passages or missing information, honing the language, and punching up the verse. The first editor is your General Practitioner, listening to the heart, taking the blood pressure, and temperature maybe writing a prescription or two as needed. The second edit is more surgical and the focus shifts. Your second editor is likely to look for errors in consistency and dates.
Beyond this round of editing lays a final edit by the publisher and then galleys before September. I’m reminded of a writer’s conference I attended a long time ago where I had the good fortune of hearing Margret Atwood speak about the process of writing. During the conference, I sat in on a session with a science fiction writer (whose name I can’t recall at the moment) and the subject of editing novels came up. His comment to the aspiring writers in the room was to remember that by the time you’ve completed editing your novel you’ll be so tired of it you just want to let it go. Personally, I’m not sure that’s an accurate depiction. I’ve edited Time of Death six times: twice myself, once with Kelly playing editor, once with Kelly’s sister as an editor, and two edits with the publisher. I’m not sick of the book yet and I don’t see myself getting sick of it. Sure, I’ve still got another edit and galleys to go but I can’t see getting sick of the manuscript before it’s published.