Stargate Monuments

marthawells

Martha Wells

My Flying Lizard Circus


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Teyla Green Tree
marthawells

Revisioning

Still working on the revisions to The Serpent Sea. I wanted to talk a bit about how I do revisions, since I'm not sure if it's idiosyncratic or not.

When I get the editorial letter, I copy it into a separate WP file -- this is easier with email; with paper editorial letters I used to have to re-type them and then make notes on the original -- and put a lot of space between the paragraphs for notes. Then I go through and take care of the ones that are quick fixes, changing a word or adding a phrase or sentence for clarity. I make those changes directly in the manuscript file but I don't do them in any particular order, and I don't do them all at once. I usually just scan the editorial file until one catches my eye and then do that one.

With the editorial notes that require new scenes, I'll actually write the scene below the note in the editorial file. At first I'll basically just be thinking of what I need to add. For example, if the note is something like: "this later scene would work better if Moon knew why such and such character had done such and such; it seems like he would ask him about it somewhere in this section." Okay, that's a good point. So I start writing that conversation, focusing just on that point. As I'm writing it, I'll start to figure out where it should go in the manuscript, and add some set dressing to it. When I'm happy with the new scene, I'll copy it into that spot in the manuscript and start blending it in with the original text. Sometimes at that point I'll realize it won't actually go into that spot and needs to be moved, or that it needs to be broken up a bit and the individual pieces worked in throughout the section. But usually it does fit, though I'll often end up changing it as I read over it and weave it into place.

The harder ones are changes that need to be made more globally, where something needs to be added that needs to be referred to at a few different points in the manuscript. I do those pretty much the same way.

Once all the new stuff is in and the quick fixes all done, I'll go back and read through from the beginning, to make sure everything new is blended in and isn't contradicted or redundant anywhere, and at this point I'll usually make more changes to the new scenes as well as little fixes throughout.

So how is this alike or different from the way other people do it?


One other thing I'll be doing today is waiting for the air conditioner repair guys. Our ac unit has been having trouble keeping up, even though I try not to let it run too much during the day. We got lucky with an overcast day yesterday, but it was 86 at 6:30 this morning, and it's just going to get worse.


Writer Beware: Farrah Gray Publishing
When publishing relationships go bad, the writing was often on the wall long before the author signed on the dotted line. Perhaps there were nonstandard business practices, such as a hidden fee or a book purchase requirement. Or there might have been a large body of author complaints, easily found by doing a basic websearch. Maybe there was an association with an unsavory parent company, or a name change to escape bad press. Or the publisher may simply may have been too new to have proven itself--a major risk for small-press writers, given the high attrition rate for new small publishers, especially if the owners don't have a professional writing or publishing background.

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This isn't directly related to your post, but I have a quick question. I'm about to go use some Borders gift cards before there is no Borders. If I were going to get just one to five of your books, which would you recommend first? (For instance, for a series, which comes first?)

Yay, icon! :)

Actually, I kind of doubt they'll have any of my books. The first four are out of print, and while the Ile-Rien trilogy is technically still in print, I haven't seen one in a store for a couple of years. The only one they might have is the new one, "The Cloud Roads," and I don't know that they ever ordered that one. Or if they did order it, the publisher might not have sent it to them, since Borders stopped paying publishers for book sales some time ago. (Chain bookstores don't always carry all of a publisher's books. There were authors who were not carried by Barnes and Noble who were carried by Borders, and vice verse, which is why some authors are going to take a huge hit when Borders finally goes under.)

But to answer your question:

The standalone books are:
*"City of Bones" which is out of print from the publisher, but I reprinted it myself and it's available online or as an ebook.

*"Wheel of the Infinite" which is out of print, though I'm about to put it out as an ebook.

*"The Cloud Roads" the newest one, which is in print and in ebook. It will have a sequel but is a standalone story (no cliffhangers).

The series books:

These are mostly standalone too, but are set in the same world:

*"The Element of Fire" which is out of print from the publisher, but I reprinted it myself and it's available online or as an ebook.

*"The Death of the Necromancer" completely out of print, but might be available used.

*The Ile-Rien trilogy, which is set after "The Death of the Necromancer" and is composed of "The Wizard Hunters," "The Ships of Air," and "The Gate of Gods" These three are available through online retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and as ebooks, but are probably about to go out of print.

of the two Stargate: Atlantis books, "Reliquary" is out of print and only available as an ebook on Kindle, but "Entanglement" is still in print, I think, and available on Kindle.

I think I covered it all, but feel free to ask follow-up questions. :)


Re: icon--

It's one of my favs!

The question turned out to be moot, because, as you said, they only had "Cloud Roads." They still had two copies in their sadly diminished SF section and now they only have one.

Guess what I'll be reading tonight.

Glad you rescued it! And I hope you enjoy it :)

Huh, first time I have heard that editors sometimes want scenes added. On the few author jurnals I read they just talk about things editors want written a different way, or cutting scenes and rewriting the rest so the book makes sense without. Good to know editors arent just focused on 'slimming down' books.

Like you, I tend to do the easy stuff first and let my subconscious start working on new scenes or any major revisions. I'll also put any new scenes in a separate document for easy editing because I'll write them, leave them alone for a bit, and then go back and edit. I usually already know where it's going to go, though. The ones I find the hardest are the vague suggestions--I always worry too much over them, and then it turns out they only wanted some minor changes after all. And I'll avoid re-reading the whole thing if I can.

Hope the AC is okay--I think we're all gonna need it this summer.

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