Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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You know it’s July . . .

When it’s 80 degrees at dawn. Whew. The dogs all got out for their morning walk, but I think that’s it. Supposed to get up over 100 degrees today. The heat’s like a wall when you open the door — even though I keep my air conditioner set at 78 or 79 or even 80 degrees. No, the dogs can just amble out into the yard and back in for the rest of the day: no dashing around in the arboretum this evening. Sorry, dogs! We will all hope for cooler weather later in the week.

Weather like this does make it easy to stay inside and get work done, though! I’ve finished working on HOUSE OF SHADOWS. I made a fair number of changes, added some worldbuilding and stuff — came to about 2000 words in additions, but it was a pretty short book to start with, so that’s no trouble. 115,000 words or so now.

So, over to Devi again! I think she’ll approve it the way it stands, so the next step will most likely be checking the copy edited version.

Meanwhile, back to my actual current (still titleless) WIP. I’ve been thinking about it and I think I will add a short chapter at the end, tie off Erest’s point-of-view story a bit more neatly. I think I will probably really benefit from some good old critical feedback pretty soon; got some good readers lined up who should be able to highlight anything that’s not working.

And you know what? Noting whether a story is working or not, and preferably taking a stab at what’s going wrong (if anything — but there’s always something) is the first job of an editor and it’s why I agree that editors are not dispensable.

Professional editors associated with a publishing house? You may be able to get away without one. Competent, critical, knowledgeable editors who can read analytically and give you some serious feedback? Feedback about the worldbuilding, the flow of the story, the pacing, the characters? You absolutely cannot get away without that.

Or at least, I can’t. Or at least, I wouldn’t want to try!

So, a few more weeks to get this manuscript in as good shape as I possibly can and then we’ll see what readers say.

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