So, last Friday, I sent TANO off to first readers. Then, I put the draft into a paperback template so I could get a paper copy and start proofing. Doubling up on revision and proofing would mean every proofing copy I read (at least two, maybe three paper copies) would be a little different as revision would be ongoing. This is not ideal, but I thought it would be faster.
But no! I already have comments back from three readers, each noting a handful of small things to address, one or a few medium things, but (alas) two biggish things. Not super big, but I have to come up with a better justification for two plot elements. As I say, alas!
So revision first, then redo the template, THEN proofing.
But in the meantime, I’ve made decent progress with –>
Okay, so right now I have four versions of No Foreign Sky open simultaneously. Having contemplated this mess, I have decided upon a basic approach.
The original version (the longest) doesn’t have the smooth plotting of the final version, but it has more worldbuilding. Too much? Not sure. It also doesn’t have the neat secondary relationship that appeared in later versions.
The second version has smoother plotting, but other things may not be as smooth, sigh.
The third version may be the best overall, but the fourth version has some better stuff in it, especially at the paragraph level.
So right now, I am reading through versions C and D side by side. I read a bit of C, then the same bit of D, adding to and modifying C as I go.
Wow, is this tedious. But I’m almost finished.
Then I will ditch D, open B, and again skim through B and C together and tweak C.
Then the same with A and C.
Deciding which versions have things I want for the final draft and then making sure everything’s in one version and that version flows smoothly from front to back … sheesh. Did I say tedious? Because this is SO TEDIOUS. No wonder I put this off so long.
I’ll do the Tano revision before going past the C and D comparison,c and wow am I looking forward to that. Much lower degree of tedium there.
I finally bit another bullet for No Foreign Sky, however, and ordered a cover. An illustrated original cover. Ouch, that’s the expensive way to get a cover. But I would like the cover to show a turun, and I said very specifically, “This has to look like a real animal, this cannot look cartoonish in any way.” The cover artist said no problem, so we’ll see!
Oh, you don’t know what the turun look like. Well, they look like troll-centaurs with four arms as well as four legs, very large and intimidating. Think really big Clydesdale-sized centaur, only bigger and not that horselike. No fur. No tail. Four arms. Tusks, too. We’ll see what the artist does with that! I haven’t suggested any other cover elements because that’s the important element right there.
Do you think it’s important if the cover shows an action scene, or is a static scene just as good? Vote, please. There is an action scene that might be okay, but on the other hand it might be something of a spoiler. I’m inclined to make it a bridge scene rather than an action scene. But maybe that’s not a great decision?
For science fiction, should I put Rachel Neumeier on the cover, or R Neumeier, or make up extra initials and put something like RE Neumeier? (I don’t have a middle name, so I would have to make up something in order to have more than one initial.) But basically, what do you think? Initials or the full name?
This is a tactical question. When stepping into another genre, do you think it’s sensible to change the author’s name at least somewhat? I don’t think there’s any great reason to change the name completely, but I thought initials might be one more way, along with the cover art, to signal to readers that this is a departure.
Here’s a different aspect of that same question: Do you think that any significant proportion of male readers would hesitate to pick up SF novels with a woman’s name on the cover? I am actually not sure! But I’m feeling like that’s a possibility! Years ago, I thought, if I were doing it over, I’d have gone with initials right from the beginning. Now I’m thinking I might do that for SF at least.
I also ordered covers for the Invictus Duology. I rapidly tired of looking through great heaps of premade covers that weren’t really what I wanted, and went back to the same cover artist and dropped a couple more orders in his schedule. (This is the artist who did the Death’s Lady series plus Sphere of the Winds.)
This time, I don’t need illustrated covers. These should be simple. Spaceship, stars. Since I’m paying for original covers, though, I went ahead and added elements that are suitable for both covers.
When he gets around to these, I will have to think of actual subtitles. On the order form for the covers, I just said Part One and Part Two. I need something much better than that! I might do the names of the two primary characters:
Invictus: Syova or Invictus: Sevastien
But I’m not sure. It’s true that Syova is the most important pov character for the first half while Ila gets to carry the pov more in the second half, but they both have pov scenes in both halves. I’ll have to give this some thought. I realize none of you have read this except Craig, so you probably can’t make suggestions.
Hey, Invictus is a Latin word! Maybe something in Latin for prelude and finale. Let me see, looks like that would be praeludere, which is fine, but “finale” is ultimo, which I don’t like. “Finish” is “metam,” which is not much better. Oh! “Downhill” is “declivis.” Well, what’s “Uphill?” Looks like “Ascensus.” That’s not bad! What do you think”
Titles: so difficult and annoying! (!!!!!) At least I’m not trying to think of titles for everything else too at the same time.
I can see that I’m going to be hip-deep in revisions and formatting, back cover description and titles, for AGES. Sigh.
(Actually, I hope to be finished with ALL revision, have everything up for preorder, and move on to Silver Circle by May at the latest. Preferably sooner. Ideally much sooner.)
I’ve started The Unselected Journals of Emma M Lion, and it’s delightful, so thank you to everyone who kept getting me to shuffle it toward the top of the TBR pile.