Flicking between projects...
With The Last Wizard project now at three completed manuscripts, and editing and beta reading underway, I returned to visualising the region in the expanding world for Tam, Chasse, Jaysin and Harmi. The original Harbin maps will come from the first novel, but Chasse’s Song draws the party into the mountains beyond Harbin and Dragon Mountain, and Jaysin’s Song widens into the expanse of the Kermakk Empire. I’ve sketched the regions and will insert names and details later this week, but thought I’d share the initial raw maps.
Beta readers have provided good feedback on flaws in Jaysin’s Song and I will commence the next edit of that manuscript in a couple of weeks. In the interim, I’m running yet another edit across the Girlie manuscript, tightening language and double-checking ‘factual’ information in the historical backdrop of the novel. The Girlie project started late 2018 and was finished as a raw draft in 2019, so it’s interesting reading a piece that is now technically two years old since I completed the draft manuscript. The time distance is allowing me to read it with refreshed eyes and spotting stylistic aspects I do need to adjust. I was originally planning to start chasing publishers for this project last year, but I wasn’t totally happy with it and held it back – and then The Last Wizard project jumped to the forefront – so now the plan is to start inquiring at the close of this year.
The fourth The Last Wizard, Harmi’s Song, I’m hoping to commence by Christmas time. Writing from the dragon’s perspective will be a fascinating challenge.
That’s all I have this week.
Three to edit: one to bind them all...
Everything seems to be revolving around fortnights of late. The past fortnight has been very productive, however, partly with the school holiday break being on offer.
Editing. Like, seriously, who would want to do it as a fulltime job? Oh. Wait. I spent 40 years as an English teacher. I’ll park that comment for another time.
I spent the past few days editing and also reorganising the three books now completed in the Last Wizard series into basic manuscript layout – font style and size (Calibri 11, double-space, 5cm margins etc – which turned into a bigger chore than I imagined when I realised that I’d been drafting using a template that corrupted the tab spaces. So, I manually replaced all the tab returns throughout 700 pages!!! Grrr.
Anyway, the editing process is underway. First raw edit is completed. For the record, much of it has been dealing with the following personal foibles: reducing the frequency of overused words, for example ‘said’, ‘turned’, ‘saw/looked’, approached, and reducing unnecessary verbosity/description. I’ve also read through all three texts to ensure any foreshadowing, personal traumas, promised actions are either followed up or at least explained away by characters.
Another challenge is working through to eliminate passive writing eg ‘She had done’ becomes ‘She did’. It’s mainly finding past tense words like ‘had’ and ‘haven’t’ and testing their validity in the sentences.
The editing process is really just starting, despite my observation in the previous blog. I’m envisaging the process will consume my writing time for the next month before I suspect I’ll be sitting here writing I’m starting to look for a publisher.
But it is very nice to have three manuscripts lying on my table awaiting the next round of editing. It feels real.
Writing is my passion. Ideas, opinions, beliefs, experiences expressed through language - through words and images - pervade and create my life. Writing is my voice, my soul, my self. My dream is one day writing will sustain my life...