Wednesday 13 October 2010

Revision request - novel surgery

I got a revision request - rather than a contract - from the publisher I subbed TCaS to. It all makes perfect sense, and is in line with what I thought I'd fixed, but apparently not enough. Time schedules being what they are, this will push back "Iron Cross" for at least another 4-6 weeks. That's the timeframe we're looking at to rewrite a significant part of the novel and then slot it back in and make it appear like there are no transplantation/surgery scars.

Hiding those scars isn't an easy job, actually. It has to be all natural and organic, but most of all, inevitable. However, if it had been inevitable, then it would have happened in Draft I, II and III. So that's the biggest sleight-of-hand trick - to make readers think that the book they are reading is the only possible version of that book. We hand them a bottle of water and need to convince them - with a straight face - that water can only live in bottles.

Again, this will mean a full print-out of the novel (a big folder of paper, it's around 90k), and then writing a synopsis by chapter. The beginning has to change, every scene needs to be slightly adapted, and one of the plots (granted, the smaller one), is flawed and needs more... more of everything.

I think that'll cost me a couple months, and since both Raev and me are busy with what they call "real life", this is going to be tough. Expect to read a lot of whining and bitching about it. In the end, however, I'm learning how to revise novels. That's a skill all novels will benefit from.

Talking about revising, I'm currently going through the galleys for "Transit", which is another chunk of work (at 98 pages or thereabouts). It has to be done.

First the current magazine issue, then "Transit", then "Scorpion", then TCaS, and Iron Cross. I'd wager that's my year taken care of. I have no idea how on earth I'll be able to slot in "Pawn" - there aren't enough hours in the day to completely edit another full-sized novel that needs some serious beta-ing from a Russian.

Well. Magazine work today, Transit and Scorpion this week. I'll see what happens if I just knuckle down.

1 comment:

  1. They can do this? I mean, they can ask you to remove or rewrite an entire chapter from a book?
    If so (I don't know anything about editing or revising or such), why I read so many bad books, with no end and no beginning, with lousy plots and even lousier characters, with sentences that sound so wrong? Often, I want to ask my money back, I can't even read them. And these books are published by well-known and reputable publishers.
    I only read your Clean Slate and Blood Run Cold and this is not your case. They show the work behind them. And I have to confess I'm very fond of Blood Run Cold because of the vampires and well, because I'm Romanian.