Okay, so, not a lot happened last week.
A) Sherwood Smith asked for a rush beta read for her latest. It’s a book set after the Norsunder War quadrilogy, it focuses (more or less) on Liere and Senrid, and it features one of the most opaque characters I have ever seen in any novel, and I do mean ever. He was interesting from the first time we met him — in the Norsunder War books — and takes a central role in this book, and it’s been fascinating watching him move through this elaborately braided story. Is he a good guy? A bad guy? Both?
Anyway, that was 200,000 words or thereabouts, and reading carefully while noting typos and making comments is a bit slower than just reading, so that was a lot of what I was doing last week. I just sent the manuscript with comments back a few minutes ago.
B) I now have comments back from everyone on No Foreign Sky. I read through the broad comments and made a bulleted list of tweaks, one of which is pretty important, I think. I’m definitely tired of messing with this manuscript, but when I step back and consider the comments as objectively as possible, I don’t honestly think it will take TOO long to go through the story one more time. I may not get through it this week, but likely two weeks will be about enough.
I will just mention that there’s considerable variation with regard to reader responses to the first chapter of this book. (Explain more / don’t explain more.) I’m going with not explaining more. I am actually pretty much okay with dropping the reader into a fast-paced situation where a lot needs to be figured out on the fly. I realize that may not work as well for every reader, but I think that’s how I’m going to do it.
I will share part of the first chapter with you pretty soon, though, probably as soon as TANO is out, and you can see what you think.
C) Sorry that TANO isn’t up on Amazon yet. The cover artist hasn’t gotten back to me with a new draft yet. Probably that will happen in the early part of this week.
Meanwhile, the new proofing copy arrived, so I spent a lot of time yesterday reading through that with a pencil in my hand. How many actual typos have I found? Three, which seems pretty good! One was a missing period, one was a word that was plural when it should have been singular, and I don’t remember the third offhand.
What I’m really doing — I mean, I’m really and truly reading for typos, sure — but what I’m REALLY doing is tweaking. While I fully recognize that it’s impossible to open any novel, even years after it was published, and not want to mess with commas, this is the last chance for me to do that before publication. Move phrases around, delete phrases, fiddle with the wording here and there, take out a comma , add a comma — that’s what I’m doing. I’m enjoying it, actually. I won’t enjoy opening all three files and making all the little tiny changes. That is going to be utterly tedious. I will do it tonight. I hope it takes less than an hour. It certainly shouldn’t take more than one evening …
… even though it’s going to be above 60 degrees F today and I will absolutely take all the dogs out for a run.