I love the review stage of writing. I think I love it as much as I do the brainstorming stage. During the latter, you get to come up with all these really cool concepts, figure out how an entire universe is put together, and learn things about characters that you didn’t know before. That’s great, and it usually happens while I’m walking the dog, or on my way to or from the train station.
The review process, though, that’s when you get to play with the language itself. For somebody who gets excited by terms like “dangling participle” and “Oxford comma” it’s a really brilliant time. Plus, the one person whom you can absolutely guarantee will find your jokes funny is yourself, and coming back to a bit of text after a couple of months away can be hilarious.
That’s where things are at the moment. It’s the final draft review, and I’m in the middle of chapter 7. I have to say, I’m more-than-usually nervous about this one, as I did seven drafts of “Knight of the Flame” and “Winds of the Growing Storm” is only getting four. Just as before, though, and handful of really smart people have looked over it for me, so I’m pretty confident that all the really big problems have been spotted and extracted.
One thing I’m doing differently this time is reading the text aloud as I go along. I’ve always known it would be a useful thing to try, but I never really gave it a chance before, as I’m usually writing on the train, and talking to yourself while on public transportation…well…I know I tend to make assumptions about people like that. Still, it’s been immensely useful. I can’t believe just how many little issues I’ve found just because I had the help of my ears in detecting them. It slows down the process a lot, I must admit, but boy is it a really, really good idea.
The cover is pretty much finished, too. Just needs a bit of work on the back-cover blurb, which will be easier to do once the last draft is complete. If you’ve been following along for any length of time, then you know how terrible I am about making estimates. Having said that, the last draft is going fast enough that it should be finished in about three weeks. Then, it’s just a question of formatting the text for publication, putting the last bits of the cover together, and then submitting to the sales channels. If all goes well, the book will be out in May, almost exactly two years after book 1.
Gonna get back to it, now. My stop’s coming up.
Seriously though, this Spriggs guy? He’s frickin’ hilarious.