I’ve been anticipating 2011 as the year of the revision, much like 2010 was the year of the first draft. As such, this means that I’m now tackling the lengthy process of printing, reading and revising, and so far it’s been a mixed bag.
Oddly enough, I actually decided to revise the most recent book first, the fully fleshed out version of In the Blood (although that will not be the final title). I came to this conclusion for a number of reasons.
Firstly: Seven Sons, while my favorite idea of the two, is a great big sloppy mess. I don’t say that in a bad way, that’s just the way these things go. While In the Blood (which I hesitate to abbreviate as ItB) is also a certifiable mess, it is much less of a steaming heap than Seven Sons. As Seven Sons is also longer by about 55k words, I could foresee its rewrite taking anywhere from 6-8 months, which is roughly the same amount of time needed to create a human. I believe the turnaround for In the Blood will be much shorter (around 4-6 weeks) in comparison, so I’d prefer to have at least one of these monsters fully revised sooner rather than later.
The second reason that I chose In the Blood first is because I think a vampire/werewolf/other-nightmare-creatures post young adult romp is infinitely more marketable than a long epic fantasy about glowing rocks. The timeline also coincides better with Angry Robot’s open submission month in March, where they will take unsolicited manuscripts from regular Joe’s like myself. Fingers crossed, eh?
Here is a picture of the whole beast, wings unfurled:
And here is a picture of the book with what looks to be a drive-by shooting happening on its face.
She’s a beaut, ain’t she? In total that is 585 pages.
I’ll admit, it was more than a little daunting to have that whole thing set in my lap, with nothing but a red pen to help me fend off its many deadly irregularities, poisonous continuity errors and frightening word choice issues. But so far the process has been liberating and exciting.
I’ve always been a bad editor, because I tend to over-think the first time I’m writing. In the past, I would edit something as I went through it, which makes for a slow rough and a tricky second. With that method it’s much more difficult to see the writing as if performed by someone else’s meaty paws.
Luckily that hasn’t been the case with In the Blood at all. I am essentially beating it like it stole something from me – namely, my life – and I guess perhaps it did. Everything is coming naturally, and I can see the book getting better with each page. No paragraph is safe from my red pen and its scorching slashing maneuvers.
Whether this turns into a story that is entertaining, dynamic and has real characters is anyone’s guess.
Anybody out there have any editing stories or tips? At this point I can use all the help I can get.