Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I finished The Words of Making yesterday. It clocked in at 230,000 words. The bummer is that when I told my editor she was vaguely horrified by the length and said I would have to cut a substantial amount. We didn't get into numbers, but I'm pretty sure I'll have to drop it below 200,000 words at least.

Apparently the trend is for shorter books in epic fantasies, the George Martins and Steven Ericksons of the world (and a few others) excepted. I'm guessing that if I sell well I will have more leeway to go longer, but as page length directly affects the price I don't have much negotiating room at the moment. Ah, well. I've already thought of some things I can cut, and I'm sure there's more I'll find as I go through. There are some full-blown scenes that can go, but what I regret is that a lot of the "flavor" of the world-building gets lost. But such is life for the as-yet-unknown novelist.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Disaster averted

The geniuses at UPS (a wretched company, one I have had no end of problems with) lost the copyedited manuscript of The Amber Wizard when I sent it back to HarperCollins. They had no record of it being scanned into their system even though I confirmed it had been picked up from the shipping center. I was freaking out until it finally showed up in New York a day late. Somehow it made it all the way without ever being scanned.

I had no idea what we would do if it remained lost. I'm thankful I'll never have to figure that out.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Copyedited manuscript

I just sent the copyedited manuscript back to my publisher today. Ten days ago I received the hardcopy from UPS. I kind of freaked out a bit when I saw how much red pencil was on it from the copyeditor (who is a freelancer and is not an employee of HarperCollins or any other publisher). When I realized a lot of the marks were not changes to the text but proofreader marks for the printers I calmed down a bit. I went through the manuscript and made my comments in blue pencil. I kept most of the changes that were suggested and only reversed a handful. To those unfamiliar with copyediting, you do this by writing "stet" in the margin by the text you wish to keep unchaged. "Stet," according to The Chicago Manual of Style, means "let it stand."

And I bet you didn't think you'd learn anything from reading this blog!

Tomorrow I'll get back to work on The Words of Making. I'm around 226,000 words, and hope to finish in about thirty more pages or so.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Enclyclopedia of Science Fiction

I have the print editions of both The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and The Encyclopedia of Fantasy. Both are excellent, masterful works, full of isightful information about writers, their works, trends within the genres, and more.

The latest incarnation of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction will be online. The entries will be even longer and more comprehensive since the editors won't be limited because of page length (the print copies are enormous books).

It's not available yet, but if you'd like to sign up for an e-mail newsletter about the project, go here.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The silence is deafening

Yes, I know, the lack of updates here is appalling and pathetic. We've been on vacation (Ocean City, Maryland, where we had a blast), and I've been plugging away at The Words of Making, which is nearly done. Other than that, there hasn't been a whole lot to talk about.

I just got the copyedited manuscript of The Amber Wizard back this morning -- damn, there are a lot of comments in it! And my deadline for getting this back is pretty tight, so I'm going to have to put book two on hold again so I can work on this. Ah, well. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just so focused on book two right now (and thinking constantly about book three, and making lots of notes), that it seems to be a giant backward step to go back to the first book.

And can anyone believe the NFL was even considering having the Saints' season opener in the Superdome? Hello! Have any of you seen the news?!

All is well. You may return to your regularly scheduled programming at this time.