I am approximately three quarters of the way through a massive editing cycle on book one, The Blood, of the The Stone’s Blade Series. I have cut almost 30 pages and 4,000 words from the ‘original’ manuscript. Still have 15 chapters to go (about 100 pages) in the process. The action is heating up in the story line and so is the POV problem. One of my questions is: How much does the reader need to know to understand what is happening? This brings up my second question and interesting choices on my part: Who’s point of view is best for what scene? I have written a couple of scenes from as many as three different POV’s and then tried to decide which is best. I am not sure all my choices are the best. However, I do know/believe that my POV is not changing every other paragraph and I am cutting out a bunch of perhaps too much explanation. I am leaving it up to the reader to figure out how/why some characters behave the way they do. I am not delving into each and every character’s thoughts or reasonings or backgrounds to explain. I am learning to leave much of that on the cutting room floor. I am praying this is making the story better so you will enjoy it more. But sometimes I’d really like to know exactly how much you need to know. I know you may want to know more but I do have to get on with the story and I have to learn to be heartless and mean and not explain every thing. Enough of a short rant on POV and Resisting the Urge to Explain (R.U.E. for writers or anyone thinking about becoming a writer), I do have to get back to editing.
After a favorable response from Southwest Writers Conference I considered the real possibility that The Stone’s Blade was publishable. I worked hard to finish the full manuscript. What was once a stand alone piece became a series after my daughter, Kristina, read it at my request. I felt that there was something missing or something more that could be done but I couldn’t quite figure it out. Her simple comments opened up a completely new batch of ideas and transformed the story line.
Now I had so much I could do and the side and back stories are fascinating. Of course to integrate her ideas I had to revisit the manuscript and make innumerable changes. All of which were fun and I then rushed to bring about the conclusion of the first book, now titled, The Blood. I gave this “new” manuscript to Kristina to read and she informed me that I had rushed through the last three chapters and had to go back and rewrite them. That was completed almost three years ago and I started sending it out to agents. I spent the better part of two and a half years working on query letters, brief synopses, and researching agents. Most of these queries seemed to disappear into a black hole of no responses. A very few came back with standard “not interested” comments or “not accepting any new authors”. I finally located one who seemed to be perfect. According to her website she wanted a science fiction/fantasy with a romantic element. I spent six weeks researching her and writing/rewriting what I thought would be the perfect cover letter for my submission. What did I get back? “Sorry, I don’t work in that genre.” I checked her website and my submission several times to try and figure out where I went wrong.
After a few weeks fuming I decided that I would publish it myself. At least then I could share a few copies with family and friends. What was interesting was that as soon as I decided to self publish things changed; that was just over one year ago.
Since then I have joined Colorado Independent Publishers Association (www.CIPA.com) and connected with an amazing group of intelligent and supportive people. I now have an editor who is coaching me through editing this first manuscript so those that come after it will be better. I have a book cover designer who is excited about the story series and has great ideas. I am so fortunate to be where I am today.
At this time I am about half way through the editing process (for the fifth and what feels like the most intense time). If any one thinks that editing is a one time deal they’ve got their head buried. I am learning so much and actually enjoying it!
I must do justice to the characters who have stayed with me over the years by bringing their story to life. To make this the best possible effort, I will continue to work and write and learn about this entire process. I am hoping The Stone’s Blade: the Blood will be published by the end of 2013.