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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish

Cover of "I've Started, So I'll Finish: T...
Cover via Amazon
Those of you familiar with the original black chair torture that is the TV show ‘Mastermind’ will recognise that famous phrase made catchword by Magnus Magnusson.

I generally complete an editing session by doing a full read through, aloud, from a printed text. I’ve discovered that this reveals things missed when editing silently on screen, so it’s worth the effort.
However, I set myself the job of editing the two final books of the epic fantasy trilogy, A Seared Sky, in this way, without really thinking it through. I should, of course, have done book two immediately after I finished it, but I waited until I’d written book three, so eager was I to get the story written.

Those who’ve read book one, Joinings, will know that it’s a bit of a tome, at 700 pages. Guess what? Books two and three are also quite long! Still, I set myself this vital editing task and, I’ve started, so I’ll finish.

This post is to let you know that book two, a typescript of 599 pages, 46 chapters and a little under 200,000 words, is finally ready for the publisher. It’s taken some time and a lot of water to cool my sore throat, but it’s done.

Did I find much? I estimate I made around 180 corrections, ranging from a misplaced comma to the addition or removal of a complete sentence, and everything in between. So it’s been a worthwhile exercise. After all, I want the book to go out in the best possible form for readers. I want them to enjoy my writing, not come to a jarring halt because I’ve missed some sod (odd) typo or used an inappropriate homophone, like ‘bare’ for ‘bear’ for example.

So: on now with book three. I’d originally hoped to have the whole thing done by the end of May, as I have a sci-fi novel knocking at the back of my brain and eager to roam free, but I have my doubts. Life has a tendency to get in the way, doesn’t it?
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