Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Finished!

Again!

This time with the revision of my current WIP (KEEPER) (not it’s real name).

Okay, basically finished. I have a little fiddling to do tonight and maybe tomorrow. But for all intents and purposes, it’s done now. The last ten or so chapters went really fast, which is a good sign, it means I was enjoying myself. So different from the painful, slow slog through Chapter 3 a week or so ago, which I did not enjoy at all.

I totally didn’t revise the way I thought I was going to. A different idea occurred to me and rather than cutting one character’s point of view chapters down to the bare bone, I did something else that I hope will work.

Next step: sending the ms to readers and to my agent to find out if it DID work. I don’t know about other writers, but I really, honestly can’t tell whether some things work the way I hope, or not. Hence the need for readers.

I mean, usually I’m all “This relationship is supposed to be subtle, not invisible, does it work for you?” because I really can’t tell.

Which reminds me of an article I read in the lastest SFWA bulletin last night dealing with the changing world of publishing — I think it was the continuing Resnick / Malzberg point-and-counterpoint articles that run in every bulletin. They were talking about whose jobs will disappear (agents, editors, publishers), and I was thinking, WAIT, WE NEED EDITORS.

And it turned out they were thinking mostly of acquisitions editors. I grant you, that’s a job that’s likely to dissolve in the chaos. But I do think that writers will continue to have a definite need for:

a) Analytical big-picture editors, who can tell them what works and doesn’t work (pace drags here, repetitive here, confusing here, do we really need this scene?, I didn’t believe this character would do that . . . ) and ideally make suggestions about changes.

b) Copy editors, who look for errors in fact, consistency, and grammar.

c) Proofreaders, who focus exclusively on grammar.

The question is, will writers hire editors or just find them? Because I got some excellent editorial advice from Sarah Prineas regarding a recent manuscript, and I didn’t have to hire her to give it. She volunteered to read it. (Thanks, Sarah!)

And maybe beginning writers will just ask their friends to read their manuscripts? Which my guess is that will not work very well because many many many people cannot see what works and what doesn’t and what you need least of all is a yes-person who thinks every word that hits the page is perfect as-is. But will beginning writers know this?

Proofreaders, yes. Surely everybody knows they need a proofreader? Three proofreaders, plus their Mom?

Anyway . . . fiddling with my manuscript tonight and maybe tomorrow. Then I’m taking a break and reading a lot of books!

Books I most want to get to:

The Princess Curse (Merrie Haskell) which is MG and thus a little younger than I usually read, but sounds like a great combo of the twelve dancing princesses and beauty and the beat beast (thus proving my point about proofreaders!).

Toads and Diamonds (Tomlinson) which is another fairy-tale type of story and has a lovely, lovely cover.

Hunter’s Oath and Hunter’s Death (West), which were recommended to me and I’ve been wanting to get to them.

Not sure what else will shuffle up toward the top of the TBR pile. Oh! Maybe I’ll find out what all has been nominated for the World Fantasy award this year and read those before the convention!

Gotta lay in a nice stock of really good chocolate to go with the books!

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1 Comment Finished!

  1. Mary Beth

    Congrats on finishing revisions! Your book-reading break seems like an excellent way to celebrate (and, assuming it’s proceeded by a period of book-abstinence, to keep your work on your manuscript free of other authors’ influence. I always write like Rosemary Sutcliff for a couple of days after finishing reading one of hers.)

    I don’t know if you’re soliciting readers, but if you ever take volunteers, I’ll raise my hand. I’m not much of a big-picture editor, as I tend to get too caught up in the story to be analytical, but I’m a pretty good copy editor. (Thus why I switched career plans from editing to law…)

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