I know it has been absolutely ages since I last posted a blog post, but this is in part due to the fact that I have been on holiday for two and a half weeks. I am also shamelessly behind on reviews, but I will catch up on those at some point, I promise. I just don’t know when yet.
With that brief news out of the way, I found myself pondering science-fiction literature recently, mainly because I have started Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy (Red Mars, Green Mars and Blue Mars).
Over the past couple of weeks I have been re-reading the entire Harry Potter series. It was a very interesting and rewarding experience, since I don’t believe I’ve read any of the books since Deathly Hallows came out, but it has also left me with rather a lot of questions.
Some of these questions are simple musings that I don’t really expect an answer to, others feel almost like plot holes, or at least things that could have been explained but weren’t. I would be very interested to hear other people’s views on any or all of these questions.
A week ago I gave a detailed, blow-by-blow account of how the first part of my Prologue went from First Draft status to Second-Draft-after-the-nitpick. Today’s post takes a closer look at the second half of my prologue, which is where things get really tricky.
No, really. The reason for this is that while I’ve still got the first draft, I’ve now overwritten the second-draft-before-the-nitpick version. This was a bit silly, I know, but I’m not much for saving stuff that I’m not actually going to use. I’ve been able to salvage some from e-mails (yay for editing through Googledocs!) but not all of it. Still, it’ll probably make this post a lot less waffly, so let’s crack on anyway!
A few days ago I promised to illustrate my editing process with an actual example, so you can now see how my prologue has evolved from its first draft version to the second-draft-after-the-nitpick-edit version. The status is therefore that it might still change, but probably not drastically. I’ll tackle things a paragraph or a sentence at a time, to give a good idea of where it started and where it’s ended so far.
I have started on the full rewrite of my third novel, now that the first draft is finished, and I got the idea that it might be interesting to give an insight into the rewriting/editing process that me and my friend Hillary use. Our working methods are pretty similar, mainly because I’ve adopted her way of working, which suits me quite well. In essence, I write a first draft, of which every chapter is sent to Hillary as soon as I finish it for her first impressions. Any comments she gives me are stored away for use in the rewrite (usually in my head, though I’ve started to actually write them down. I rely far too much on my memory sometimes).
Well, it’s taken a lot longer than I would have liked, but yesterday at about quarter to eleven (pm) I finally finished the first draft of my third novel, The Coup. As it stands I have 18 chapters (and a prologue) and it’s around 114k words.
Next step is to do a full readthrough and take notes along the way on what I need to change. Some of it is stuff I thought of later which needs adding in at the early stages, some of it will be to incorporate the initial feedback from my alpha-reader and editor Hillary. Once that’s done I’ll begin the full rewrite.
So I’m by no means anywhere near being done, but at least I now have the full story out there. Considering that when I started I had little more than a start, an ending and a couple of scenes along the way, I’m now in a much happier place. Rewriting can be a bitch of a job, but it’ll still be easier than trying to think up the story from scratch.
And for those of you who missed it, here is a sneak (unedited) preview of the book which I posted a while ago.