I am more than three-fifths done with the first editing pass through the new Markhat novel.
Which means I'll probably start my second pass this weekend, and if that goes well, I'll ship it out the next week. The snow days have certainly helped speed up the process.
And what a process it is. It's not enough to just read the manuscript. You have to focus on every character, every mark of punctuation, every page break, every spelling of every word. All while simultaneously reading the events for timing and continuity errors.
And of course, your inner editor must be busy asking the same question of every word, every line, and every scene -- "Does this move the book along? Does it make sense in the context of each character and their motivations? Is it any good? Is everyone about to discover what a failure you are? HAHAHAHAHA yes they are!"
My inner editor has issues.
But even so I have to turn them loose, and listen carefully to each and every muttered criticism.
I'd much rather be writing something new. But re-reading and editing and tweaking is a vital part of the process, no matter how much I'd rather fire up "Fallout: New Vegas" instead.
The good news is that I love this book. It's so good I'm not entirely sure I wrote the thing. Maybe Lou Ann, Associate Canine Editor and Chief of Security,
fires up the PC after I go to bed and taps away with her little doggy paws and turns my own miserable prose into what I've spent the last week reading.
If so, good dog.
What's different about this Marhat adventure?
A lot of changes for our hero. Without giving too much away, I will hint that the peace may be ending. Too, Darla's patience with Markhat's reluctance to formalize things may be wearing thin. Readers will finally learn what drove Gertriss out of Pot Lockney, and get a glimpse into Mama's past as well.
It's been a lot of fun. Setting it back in Rannit was a welcome change too. Rannit isn't a place I'd want to live, but it's a great town to set stories in.
So wish me luck on the remaining two-fifths. Barring any major 'Oh no' moments, I'll be cranking away on a new book in a matter of a few weeks!