Over lunch today I finished the latest phase of the edit. I’ve been picking away at my editor Simon Spanton’s notes (over 350 suggested changes and comments) for a little over three weeks now.
I started with the easy stuff, namely all the extraneous crap marked ‘Delete’ by Simon. Suggestions to re-word awkwardly phrased sentences, clarity where there was confusion, repetitions…
… and a whole section where I had a character eating stew from a plate instead of a bowl (d’oh!). I find this is a nice warm up before the main event, and a good way to reacquaint yourself with a book that you might not have looked at for weeks or even months.
There was a whole debate about rats on a ship, how fast a ship would sink, and how many lashes with a cat ‘o nine tails would kill a man (Simon is an extremely genial and friendly chap, but knows an awful lot about naval punishment).
We went back and forth on the size of armies, weaponry, lethal farm tools (who knew that the cutting edge of a scythe blade was on the inside of the curve? Simon did, thankfully), dog bites, poisons, rats, crops, injuries, the efficiency of messenger pigeons, the physiology of merpeople…
… putting a saddle on the back of a wyvern, and the mental and physical cost of using magic.
There were a few moments where my characters rushed into action without much thought of the consequences and it was great to have the opportunity to dig a little deeper and think about why they made those impetuous decisions.
It’s been fun if hard and intense work, but there’s no question that it’s improved the book. And it’s not over yet! I’m sure Simon will have a few more notes for me, and then we’ll move onto the copy edit where it gets really forensic.
I’m hoping to have a revised version of the opening chapter that I can share with you soon, in the meantime thanks to everyone who has supported the book so far, and if you’ve not yet pre-ordered you can do so here.