A progress report, today, and a glimpse into the publishing industry from the writer’s end.
Draft two of Stars Uncharted
We’re onto the next major draft of Stars Uncharted. This is officially draft two for us, although if you count how many rewrites we’ve done so far, it’s a lot more than that. We used to count each draft separately, but nowadays we mark them by the big milestones.
- Draft one—get the story down
- Draft two—fill in any story holes, nail the action scenes (even if they still need rewriting, and they do)
- Draft three—incorporate any feedback from Caitlin (our agent), if any; add more world building
- Draft four—clean out the weasel words*, tidy up
- Draft five—read aloud
* We don’t use the term weasel word as per the dictionary version. For us, it’s shorthand for cleaning out all the wryly’s (ly words), changing from passive to active, getting rid of all those ‘,too’s, and so on. Also, World building is not so much just making the worlds more realistic, it’s also building the characters, too.
They’re not clean ‘finish draft one, start draft two’ as they’re written above. For example, Sherylyn was already working on draft two while I finished draft one, and she’s already cleaning out every weasel word she comes across. (Sadly, more creep in.) Even in draft one we went back and rewrote story holes once we knew they were there. And we try to world build every draft.
We also read aloud chapters on occasion even now when we know the language isn’t working.
At the end of this month we’ll send a (relatively) clean copy to our agent for her input.
It’s starting to feel like a real book.
We signed the contract for Stars Uncharted (and a second book) yesterday, and sent it back to the publisher.
Those of you who have been reading our blog might notice that back in December we mentioned the books were coming (but only after it had been announced in Publisher’s Lunch, and Locus), and we knew about it a while before that.
In fact, until we get a copy back with the publisher’s signature, nothing is truly formal even yet.
This is normal. While you’re writing the book, your agent is busy working in the background with the publisher getting the contract in order. For the Linesman books, we didn’t get a contract to sign until about two days before we had to deliver the book.
How an editor works
If you’re interested in how the book process works from the other side, over at Unbound Worlds, Matt Staggs interviewed Anne Sowards about working with Patricia Briggs. Anne’s our editor, too, and that’s how it works for us, as well.