Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Progress! And, more work ahead —

So, nearly finished with this revision of The Mountain of Kept Memory. What is it so far, two weeks? Not bad, not bad.

I’ve rearranged the book a bit, written 4 complete new chapters and parts of 3 other chapters, adding 25,000 words in the process. I’ve also gone through and checked off nine pages worth of specific line-by-line comments, adding little stars by the ones I haven’t dealt with yet.

Next: dealing with the somewhat larger issues addressed by more general comments. Primarily clarifying one or two elements. Then dealing with a couple dozen notes I added to myself as I worked through the manuscript. I hope to have it all done and tied up with a bow by this time next week. That would be a good thing, because:

OH MY GOD I HAVE ANOTHER BIG REVISION WAITING.

I’m guessing it isn’t pure chance that every. single. revision. this year has been BIG. I expect this is the result of finishing a project and zapping it off to my agent or my editor, without time to let it set for a while and then come back to it. But just out of curiosity, I worked out a rough estimate of what I’ve been doing this year, and it looks like this:

Jan-Feb — Finished Door Into Light, adding 60,000 words to the incomplete ms, thus bringing the total length to about 140,000 words. Sent to my agent for comments.

April-May — Revised The Mountain of Kept Memory, removing the secondary protagonist and handing part of his role to a different character, with associated changes to the plot. Sent to my S&S editor for comments.

Also, reviewed page proofs for The Keeper of the Mist from my RH editor.

June-July-August — Finished The White Road of the Moon, adding 100,000 words to the (very) incomplete partial manuscript and thus bringing the total length to approximately 140,000 words. Sent to my agent for comments, with a specific concern about the length and complexity and about not being able to develop some of the relationships adequately because the thing was too long already.

Also, continuing copy editing queries about The Keeper of the Mist.

August — got back comments on Door Into Light, with suggestions to extensively re-write all the scenes that take place in Kalches to increase the action. Rewrote, replacing or extensively re-writing an estimated 40,000 words (this is a very rough estimate).

September — got back comments from my editor on The Mountain of Kept Memory, with a request for a strict alternation of chapters between Oressa and Gulien and a bunch of smaller-scale notes. Added four chapters plus two partial chapters plus addressed the smaller concerns, for an estimated 25,000 words added plus detail work.

September — got back comments from my agent on The White Road of the Moon, with suggestions to completely cut two important secondary characters (Craig, if you read this, Caitlin suggests cutting Timias and handing the important part of his role to Jaift; also cutting Dayan and removing most or all of the blue/white priesthoods); remove the pov sections for another secondary character; entirely skip two visits to various cities; and thus simplify the cast and cut at least 30,000 words, preferably more.

So . . . that is what I will be tackling in October.

After which, I’m telling you, I’m shutting down the laptop for the whole of November. I mean, jeez. I think I have *so far* written something in the neighborhood of 320,000 words this year — not counting whatever I do to The White Road.

Total number of books *read* thus far this year: 58. That is way, way, under where I would usually be at this time of year. Sure is clear why. Next year should be a much easier pace. I think. Probably.

Currently reading: All the Liaden books by Lee and Miller. I am not as interested in the series as I once was . . . I still feel that Agent of Change and Carpe Diem are the best of the lot . . . but it is a familiar universe, with about four or five books I hadn’t read plus some earlier books I am re-reading. I’m finding these very appropriate revision-reading, the books easy to slip into and out of.

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4 Comments Progress! And, more work ahead —

  1. Craig

    Hm. Those are some radical cuts, all right, but I can sort of see how it might work — you saw from my comments that I’m not very good at identifying places to cut. Is it Carad Mereth’s POV chapters that go? Does Jaift takes over Timias’ role as victim, or does that just vanish as unnecessary? Is it cruel to the other blog readers to ask these questions in public about a book none of them have seen?

  2. Rachel

    Yes, those are the pov sections to cut, and that had occurred to me, so I wasn’t surprised that Caitlin fingered them.

    I haven’t actually started the revision yet, so I can’t say I’m *sure*, but I think Jaift will get the victim role, though it may not, how to put this, play out in exactly the same way, if you get what I mean.

    Ah, enjoy your privileged knowledge!

  3. Elaine T

    Elsewhere on the net there have been discussions recently about prolific-ness(? prolificity?) in writers. As a reader I like it. Lots of Neumeier goodness to look forward to.

    I hope you enjoy your November!

  4. Rachel

    I haven’t *minded* being super busy this year . . . much . . . but I am indeed hoping to get no editorial letters about anything in November!

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