Coming up for air

Second round done, and I’d forgotten how obessive I can get over punctuation. I’ve nipped, tucked, expanded and binned, and even found the time to keep a record of my progress:

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Okay, so after 36 days (morning and evenings mainly), I cut 4700 words from the book and I applied a lot of the stuff I learned from writing the previous two novels:

  • Read every note your editor has left you, and then read it again. She represents your potential audience, so don’t dismiss anything she says without thinking carefully about it first.
  • Characters should never go anywhere and do nothing. No one wants to read about a couple of days spent sight-seeing. The character has to learn something or find something or kill someone or have sex wth someone else. The point is they have to do something other than just look around.
  • Characters should not return somewhere they’ve been before without a bloody good reason; keep the story moving forward.
  • Characters should not have sex just for the sake of it. Again, the act should move the story forward or tell the reader something about the character they didn’t know before.

About halfway through the edit process, I thought a graph might be interesting:

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And this proved something I’d always suspected: I waste a lot of my time doing stats when I should be writing.

So how’s the book shaping up?

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Not too badly, if I say so myself. Still some fine-tuning to do, and then the copy-edit. Right now, I’m thinking about the cover design.

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