Tag Archives: editing

November round up

A general update on what’s been going on for the last month or thereabouts. Starting with some book news.

Book 4

The first draft of book 4 (currently untitled), the first book in the new Age of Dread trilogy, has been sent off to my publisher. Phew. I got it in a couple of weeks early and I had enough time to do a pretty solid revision with some input from a trusted source. As it was the first book in a new trilogy, and even though it was set in the same world, I was super nervous. Digging in and giving it a good polish before it went off to my editor, and getting some positive feedback, has helped a lot. So now I am cracking on with book 5. I should say, you don’t have to have read the first trilogy (Age of Darkness) to read this book, however, it does follow on chronologically from the first and there are lots of overlaps in terms of characters and so on. But it is possible to come in as a fresh reader and it will all make sense. Book 4 comes out next year in October.

Blog posts

I’ve recently done some guest posts on a few blogs. The first was My Book: The Movie, where I was asked who would I cast if they were going to make a film of Battlemage. My answers often change but right now these are the people I see in the roles, so it gives you a bit of an idea what they look like in my head beyond what you read on the page.

The second blog post was over on The Page 69 Test. This is where if someone were to open my book to that page, what would they find? Is it representative of the whole book or not? Would it give new readers enough to make them keep reading? It was an interesting idea to explore and in this case p69 of Battlemage gives a flavour for one aspect of the book.

Interviews

There are a couple of these coming up. One I did for Mur Lafferty on her podcast, I Should Be Writing. Once this goes live I will repost it. I also did my first video interview! Very nerve racking and tense. However, I got through it and the two people who interviewed me were very friendly and helped me relax. This was during my recent trip to the MCM Expo in London and it was for Solarstorm Entertainment. The video will be on YouTube. I was interviewed along with several other Orbit authors on the day. [edit, the interview is now live]

Gaming

I don’t tend to talk much about games, but I thought I would add something for a change. I mostly say I’m a lapsed gamer, as I don’t have time to play as much as I used to. However, recently I have picked up the odd game from Steam and the best of them has been Fallout 4. This game is remarkable. It’s probably one of the best games I’ve played in the last 10 years or more. It has all of the elements that I like, exploration, a deep back story and world building, a sandpit aspect to the game, a strong storyline with some major twists that keep me guessing and also wondering about my actions and the choices I’ve made as my character. It is also massive. There is a lot to explore. It’s been a great way to unwind while wiping out a few settlements of Super Mutants.

That’s it for now. If you have read any of my books and would like to do me a favour, please post a review on Amazon or Goodreads, as it does help to me noticed by other potential readers.

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Stuck in the middle

I’ve not posted in a couple of weeks because I’ve been busy doing a number of different things. For the last few months I have been chipping away gradually on the first draft of book 2 in my fantasy trilogy. Progress has been steady, sometimes it flows, other times I’m distracted by all of the other stuff going on in my life and the words come out very slowly. But I am gradually getting there, bit by bit.

Last week all of that changed when I received my edits for book 1, Battlemage, from Jenni Hill my editor at Orbit. So since then I’ve been reading through those, going through the book, making changes, whittling, reshaping and generally making it better. I’ve also been away from Battlemage long enough and have had my head in another space that I can look back on it a bit more critically. I can see what I was trying to do, if the characters are as rounded as I hoped, if the pacing is right, and where the wrinkles lie. I can also see how much is actually on the page and how much remains in my head. After living with characters and a story for years and then writing it all down, I sometimes miss out certain small pieces that explain the motivation of characters, or how the dots join up in the story. In my head it’s been implied or is clearly there on the page when it isn’t, so it is vitally important to have other people look at the work and point at the voids or lack of explanation.

This editing process is going to continue for the next couple of months, then I will jump back to writing book 2, while still mulling book 3 over in the back of my head. The spine of the story for book 3 is there, the main characters are there, I know some of the major beats I want to hit, but at some point I’ll sit down and make more notes to flesh it all out. All of that will happen once the first draft of book 2 has gone off. It does help that all three books are part of a much larger story, and they all connect to one another and lead in to one another, but it also means there are a lot more balls to keep in the air at the same time.

As well as the novels I’ve also submitted an OGN I co-wrote and am working on a couple of other comic book projects and planning the podcast mini-track for the 9 Worlds convention this August in Heathrow. So once again there is a lot going on, but not all of it is happening at once which is a relief. Juggling balls is definitely an apt description of how things are at present and how they will remain for the foreseeable future.

I’m still trying to keep my brain active with fresh content, which I think is important, so as ever I am always reading one book and at the moment am keeping pace with that, usually it is between three and four books a month. The one Dresden Files a month re-read continues, so I should get to the new book Skin Game some time next year. I’m still reading a stack of comics every month as it’s easier to pick them up, read for 20 minutes and get a good chunk of story. My TV viewing has slowed even more so than usual, so I’m constantly behind on just about everything current, but a few series are now wrapping up, which is kind of a relief. It means I get to catch up with everyone else and join in with the conversations. But, for the time being, I’m writing. Better get back to it.

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