Well, I’m now over three quarters of the way through The Charmed Return and heading towards the final showdown between good and evil. My plan is to finish by the end of the third week in September.
What happens then is I send it off to the UK editors.
In case any of you are not sure what editors do, here’s the low-down. They are people who work for the Publishers. Their job is to read every manuscript really carefully and critically and make suggestions for changes that they think will make the book better.
They will suggest cuts in the text to make the plot flow more quickly - they will suggest moving scenes around to make the story easier to follow - they will suggest additional scenes - or removing scenes - or shortening descriptions - or adding action - or just tweaking sentances and paragraphs. It is quite unusual, when I get the book back from the Editors, to find a single page where they have not made some suggestions. Dealing with this is all part of being a professional writer, in case any of you would like to be published authors.
To give you the full picture, those of you who have taken a look at the “special features” in the Lord of the Rings DVDs will maybe remember Peter Jackson talking about the New Line Producers constantly looking over his shoulder while he was shooting the movies, and making suggestions about how the movies should be changed. Editors are a little like producers, in that they are always coming up with ways of improving books - some of which are quite good ideas, and some of which are not!
The other similarity between Book Editors and Movie Producers is that they provide the money, so they have quite a big say, and I have to fight my corner if they want changes I don’t like.
So, the “finished” manuscript I will send to the UK editors is known as the “first draft”. They will work on it for a few weeks then send it back to me to make the changes they suggest.
I plan on letting you know in real time how this all works, so I’ll post a blog here when I send it off, and another when I get it back, and so on. I’m afraid this is all a bit technical and not very exciting - but it is all part of the process of getting an idea out of my head and into bookstores.
Meanwhile - I was wondering, you’ve been discussing actors for the “movie” for a while now - but in a perfect world, if you could be in the movie, which character would you like to be? (No, not Tania - someone else). I’d be Lord Brython - I’m quite fond of Hopie and I’d love to live in their castle by the sea.