March 20, 2023
Editing. Again. Creating and manipulating a four-book series at the same time is not something I have tackled before. The fantasy series published with HarperCollins in 2002-3 – the Ashuak Chronicles – and again in 2008-10 – Dreaming in Amber – were one-at-a-time book developments, admittedly framed into six-month deadline frameworks for each book. Somehow, they seemed easier.
In this final editing-before-submission phase, I’ve found the most difficult aspect is remembering which book I’m in as far as whether I have already mentioned the places or people or events. At least twice, now, I’ve started editing a paragraph or fact only to realise it isn’t being repeated – it actually is the first time I’ve mentioned the information!
I’m learning much about my writing style working across four books. I have an obsession with the setting at the start of chapters and sections. I like to establish the weather, the light, the scenery surrounding the characters. Too much. I’m focussing on editing at least some aspects of that obsession in this final process. I particularly discovered an obsession with fishing boats and seagulls. I am reducing the number of times they are referenced.
I love dialogue. That leads to how many times do I have to use the word ‘said.’ Then there are the -being-too-clever risks with synonyms for said. And the risky ‘don’t use said at all’ in some lines. The reader is clever. This is challenging across a total of 400,000 words in four books.
Telepathic communication between the dragon and the three siblings is a significant aspect of the third and fourth books and deciding how to represent it is ‘interesting.’ In the end I’m going with the dialogue convention and keeping ‘mindspeak’ as traditional dialogue by using the words ‘projected’, ‘mindspeak,’ ‘telepathy’ to alert readers that telepathic communication is happening. Only personal thoughts and dreams appear in italics.
Tamesan’s Song: Book One and Chasse’s Song: Book Two are done. Jaysin’s Song: Book Three is this week’s project and Harmi’s Song: Book Four will complete the March project line. Back into the editing I dive.
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...