Ascendant Stars: Still On Course For November publication
I tells ya, a perceptive, skilled editor is a treasure for a writer. And I`m lucky enough to have one at Orbit (Hi Bella!). So current status on The Ascendant Stars – the MS has been through a coupla full cycles of revisions, meaning the restructuring of a few chapters, some renumbering malarkey, a bit of narrative compacting, a bit of outright ditch-and-rewrite, plenty o’ clarifications and rephrasing and distillation etc. I’ll be straight with you – sometimes when the critique comes is, yr hmble scribe is not a happy bunny….but that, I have learned down the years, is only the natural reaction from a part of my mind which has become deeply attached to all the words which emerged from the old grey matter. It just takes a coupla days to get over one’s self and learn to see the work in technical terms, almost as a story engine which needs to be tweaked and tuned, maybe have parts remachined or junked entirely in favour of the right replacement.
The technical aspect of rewriting is a different kind of tough, yet you get an immediate sense of satisfaction when you see technical flaws fixed. So right now I’m waiting to see if the MS can now go forward to the next stage, the eagle eyes of the copy editor – once its moves past that hurdle we move to the initial proofs, which of course have to be…..proofread! Part of that job is mine, as well as the proofreader’s, and it is the stage by which the last typos and infelecities should be tracked down and dealt with. Once the very last and final finishing touches are incorporated, then the MS moves into the publishing stage, resulting in lotsa crisp newly printed books. It’s a thing of beauty, ye know..
Of course, my back brain is already juggling half-formed notions and places and characters for the next book, because even though I sleep…the ur-writer in the basement never does!
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