Blog Post No. 469
My main project at the moment is editing the fifth novella in the Synthetic Albatross Series, Snow From a Distant Sky. Like the last two books Broadcast Wasteland and Break/Interrupt, I wrote the first draft in a mad sprint. Broadcast was started in September but seeing as it went long, I bumped Break up to August. (It ran even longer, so it was good that I gave it the extra month). This time, I actually managed to get the first draft of Snow in before the end of August and I somehow kept it from ballooning out of control.
With the little bit of extra time, I left it to marinade. I tend to need at least two or three weeks between drafts in order to be really critical, though longer is better. Leaving it too long has its own issues though (chief of which being that I won’t have enough time to get it finished before the April release date). I think I did a good job with the second and third drafts. Since the first draft wasn’t way too long like Broadcast and Break, I was able to spend less time looking for areas to cut and let the natural editing process take over. A fair bit was still cut.
I’m a hatchet man when it comes to editing, but rather than convincing myself that something has to go because the book is too long, I just trimmed as I went. I’m sure it will get a little more lean before it’s published. The other novellas were the same way. Thankfully, the last two drafts went pretty smoothly, so I sent it off for the first beta read.
It’s in the hands of Christian right now. I’ve gotten into the habit of sending my books his way first. He seems to generally like my writing, but he can be critical when he has to. It makes for a good first beta. I don’t get slammed, but the criticism is honest. When I get it back from him, I’ll give the novella another full once over, taking in to account his edits and suggestions. Then, if there isn’t too much that has to change, I’ll sent it off to another couple of people. I’m really lucky that I have a group that has been eager to give the novellas an edit.
I hope it’s eager. Some of them ask me when the new book is coming their way, so I think so. In the mean time I’ve been picking away at a short story. I don’t have a ton of time between shifts at the day job, but (probably because of how the day job is going) I feel like I need to be working on something while I wait. To be fair, I usually feel that way, but this time I’m actually doing something. But, just a little. I expect that I’ll be left with a jumbled mess that’s less than half a short story when Snow is released. It’s better than nothing, though.