Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Progress Report

I look back wistfully on the day, not so long ago, where I thought I could JUST edit out typos in the Tenai trilogy and it’d be good to go. Sigh.

First, I’ve done a lot more line editing than I expected (or wanted) to do.

Then, this morning I went through the whole of the long third book, redid the chapters — there were 17 chapters per 440 pages and now there are 28 chapters — then rearranged these shorter chapters to alternate the viewpoint most of the time, then cut about half a chapter and added a placeholder chapter that at the moment consists of a two-line summary of what needs to happen in that chapter.

Elaine, it was your advice that made me do all the above. Kim, thanks for pointing out a good place to break books two and three. I hadn’t realized that Jenna didn’t take any pov chapters until quite late in the main story, so that breaking the two books right before her first pov section would make sense. That’s how the story is now arranged. So now:

  1. The Year’s Midnight (plus an interlude) — 200 pp
  2. Of Absence, Darkness — 300 pp
  3. As Shadow, a Light — 440 pp (or so).

Well, that’s okay, I think. Especially since in ebook format, it’s hard to tell how long a book is anyway.

Anyway, goal for this week: write that missing chapter — I trust it will be short — and skim through the whole of the third book to check flow and make sure I didn’t accidentally delete a chapter while rearranging the manuscript. Then go through and correct typos for the second book and make a proof copy.

So, yeah, Tarashana is very definitely going to come out before the Death’s Lady trilogy. No question. I’ve seen a first draft cover for Tarashana and it was good, so I’m expecting to finalize that pretty soon. I suggested either a golden eagle or — because the most important eagle appears in the land of the shades and is white — a white bird of prey; ie, a gyrfalcon. White gyrfalcons look extremely dramatic:

Photo from Pixabay: GYRFALCON

Also, I have to say, doesn’t “gyrfalcon” look like a fantasy word? Hard to believe a bird with that name actually exists. This is pretty much exactly how the white eagle is described in the book, except of course a real gyrfalcon is somewhat less otherworldly. So, at the moment, the cover of Tarashana features a gyrfalcon and that is probably how it will stay.

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7 Comments Progress Report

  1. Craig N.

    You’re right, “gyrfalcon” totally sounds like a fantasy name.

    I was saddened by that article saying albinism is so unhealthy for birds. Stupid biochemical constraints messing things up.

  2. Hanneke

    Rachel, I couldn’t sit at my screen again last weekend (my back is acting up again, grrr). Seeing how you’re changing Tenai 2 and 3 anyway, I’ll stop aiming to proofread the files you sent me for those, okay?

    If my back is behaving itself again by the time you’re done with the editing I could try again, but by that time you may not consider *another* pass at all useful anymore. Sorry.

  3. Rachel

    Hanneke, that’s perfectly fine. When I’m finished, I’ll send you the third book again — if your back is okay.

    Another pass is ALWAYS useful, but you should never feel obligated, especially if the story isn’t one that suits you at the moment.

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