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Jay Lake
Date: 2008-06-15 09:54
Subject: [writing] Green progriss
Security: Public
Tags:books, green, process, writing

Just wrapped all of the reader feedback on Green. I have a couple of dozen notes embedded in the text, and hundreds of minor changes and edits, along with a double handful of major changes and scene cuts. Starting either later today or sometime tomorrow I’ll a final readthrough, dealing with the notes as I go. Then it’s back to casacorona and arcaedia.

Noveling is hard. Don’t let nobody tell you different. One of the things which always amazes me in this process is how difficult the little details are. Plot, character, setting — all that stuff is challenging, but we work through it. Almost all my commentors agreed that two subplots were distracting, and there was quite a bit of overlap on other issues. The thing that varied widely was the typos. Everybody caught a different set.

Mind you this is a manuscript I wrote, revised, then did several close reads of. The proverbial fine toothed comb, as it were. And yet every single reader found all kinds of different little problems at the text level (”thought” for “though”, “at” for “and”, duplicated words, that sort of thing).

This has happened with every manuscript I have ever written, though the effect is magnified by the wordcount and complexity of book-length work. I rather confidently predict it will happen on every manuscript I ever do write. Yet I am always amazed.

I should go into the tyop business. In the meantime, I plan to turn Green in within the week, with any luck.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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User: blakehutchins
Date: 2008-06-15 19:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Congratulations, dude. Very cool. I look forward to seeing the result.

On another note, I'm tackling my first novel (got a tie-in deal with a videogame company). Any core word of advice?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2008-06-15 20:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Any core word of advice?

Don't stop in the middle. (Seriously.) Whatever your production pace and work schedule, stick to it like the proverbial glue. Otherwise you'll risk significant issues of both character/story voice and plot continuity.

Congratulations and good luck!
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User: blakehutchins
Date: 2008-06-15 21:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thanks. I'm lucky to have this *be* my job--along with another freelance videogame project. Having external deadlines is a great motivator for me. Especially ones backed up by contracts and $$$.
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User: michaeljasper
Date: 2008-06-16 01:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Wannoshay Beer
Congrats on finishing up another revision/draft! As hard as it is, noveling is a tricky little beast that never stops throwing curves at you.

And as for tyops, yeah, I can relate. I thought I had my manuscript for Prime all clean of 'em, a few months ago, then I sat down and did a hard copy-edit, and found over ONE HUNDRED stupid little typos. They're invisible little suckers, unless you really really look for them. Ugh.

Also, yeah -- great advice about not stopping in the middle. I'm totally guilty of that one...
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