Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The stages of editing.

I thought it would be simplest to show you the very beginning of Lamplighter. I will make some comment on each version but will let them speak for themselves - my hope is that when you click on an image it will show it at a better, more readable size.

Please, ask any questions you like.

As you can see my initial beginning was markedly different from what we now have in the book. My first thought was to start the very next day from where Foundling left off. I am glad that I did not. The where to begin a story is one of the big challenges in writing. Apart from this, other problems clear to me (now, at least) are a/ that Grindrod is unrealistically harsh & b/ the excessive use of capitals for his voice.

Next is the proper beginning to the story; it is bloated and clumsy - but that is the nature of my first drafts for you... The comments on it are made by the fair hand of my publisher, Dyan Blacklock.

The change from first to second draft is hard work but seeing the better, tighter story emerge from all the pain is a genuine joy. The scribble in green is my own hand as I continue to improve the text - all those little details and tweaks that feel make the tale a whole lot better.

This final stage is what are called pages. It is the properly typeset book printed out on ordinary A4 paper for me to go over for any final and usually small corrections. I, however, made some significant changes - as you can see by the highlighted text, which, if memory serves, was shifted and cut. If you get out your copies you shall see what I mean. This is not normal at this stage, of course, but most was agreed to by my editor (the purple penciled Celia Jellet), for it indeed made the whole work again that much better. (I paid for the re-typesetting, btw - 'tis only fair...)

There you have it! Just like that. This book writing thing is easy!

Also Gareth of Falcata Times asked me to point you all to their review of Lamplighter, which fits well with this post, the final end for this whole process: people reading it and even reviewing it. Thank you, Gareth!

For breakfast today I had porridge with sultanas and a cup of Irish Breakfast tea.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A poll for you...

Just put up another poll for your pondering (just scroll down a bit)... more substantial posting coming soon.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Still here! Still here!

Just in case you thought I had shuffled off somewhere, I am still about, honest, being very preoccupied about editing (actually a major rewrite - you should see all the green pen scribbled over each page, the inserted pages with even more green scribblings) and slack about blogging.

I heard once that you need to post at least once a week to be considered a real blog, so I don't know where that leaves us...

Just thought I would acknowledge that "clede" (a corruption of Mr Hranac's 'cledu' verificon word) meaning a country dance, and most likely "verger" (coined by Alyosha's daughter) meaning a builder of fortifications, might well have a place in the Half-Continent. 'Tis a bit perplexing about how such things work though; can I even have them to use? They are other people's stuff after all. I could sit here and just plunder you all and never have to come up with my own stuff - though where is the fun in that...! endless invention is entirely the point. It is just that some words are just right for the idea. Then again, there have been several times I have had to let some entirely perfect 'word' go because it is someone else's property, which just pushes me try again, to dig deeper, to slide sideways and get inventive. What I do not want is to be is a thief.

Back to the rewrite... (oh, and I will put up some old variants of bits of Lamplighter soon, to show what editing does for me -and you too, as the end users... did you know that you are 'end users'? Sounds a bit cold...)

Hope you all are well.