So I’ve now got to the end of the third part in my first big pass through Red Country. There was a lot less to do here than in the first two parts – just some tightening up, a few extra sequences to add in order to keep significant characters in mind, and a few sloppy scenes that needed some rewriting. The fourth and fifth parts should need even less work to bring them up to snuff for the time being, and they’re relatively short anyway, so it shouldn’t be long until I have a single coherent draft! Woo hoo! What was I worrying about?
At that point I’d normally turn my attention to more detailed character and setting type stuff but this time around the process is having to shift about due to the availability of the copy editor, who needs to start in early June, which means my editor is already marking up the manuscript as it stands and I’m going to be responding to her input first. Probably no bad thing as I’m getting a little jaded and could do with an outside kick in the pants. I want to do a re-read of all my other books while it’s away with the copy editor, soak up anything necessary for returning characters, and then do a character pass trying to get all the secondary characters as differentiated and vibrant as possible – replacing bland dialogue with more personalised, bland description with more specific, and so on. Then after the copy edit comes back and I respond, there’ll probably be a setting pass where I try and get a bit more pop into the descriptive sections, an eye on the weather and the feel of the surroundings. Which means hopefully towards the end of July I’ll be doing my final run-through trying to get the detail of the language as good as wot I is able to do. Then proof read.
The UK cover is developing apace – map is done and roughs for the weapons are in, design work already underway. So should be something to see there within the next few weeks.
In awards news, I note that The Heroes had been shortlisted for this year’s renewed and reconstituted British Fantasy Award which is now operating in a similar way to the original Gemmell notion I was espousing a few posts back, funnily enough, with an academy picking a shortlist and a jury picking a winner – or actually two winners in this case, one for horror and one for fantasy. Interesting… I also said I’d notify folks when the voting on the Legend Award opened, so with the greatest of fake reluctance I will link to the relevant voting page. Fly, my flying monkeys, fly!
A WAY more thrilling contest comes upon us, though, and one EVEN MORE likely to get me drunk – Whisky Deathmatch. A summary of the rules soon to come, followed by our first bout, Bladnoch 20 vs Auchentoshan 3 Wood in a Lowland BATTLE to the DOOM.
23 comments so far
These are some awesome news! I for one cannot wait for the release. If this is going to be the same case as with all your previous books (i.e. the newer, the more improvements youve made, the better it is) than I really cannot say otherwise then that this is going to be your true masterwork(so far, anyway). 🙂
Thank you for the insight into the process. Very cool to read.
And fly i did.
How many times can i vote? It’s not like i have weekend plans anyway 🙂
Incredibly insightful … by the very end of your process are you a little jaded with it or proud of it, like a finely honed blade?
Whisky DM needs to be televised.
Joe, your writing of a “western style” fantasy book has made Red Country the 17th most popular “western” on Amazon right now. And that’s out of 25k books! Not sure what that means, other than I think there is a real lack of gritty western novels and authors. Something to think about when your current contract runs out….
Oh shyte! I went to vote, and two of my favorite books from the last year or so are short listed.
Fear not, I made the right decision!
Map, show us the map!! you’ve published here your pen-drowned maps for BSC and The Heroes, it’s very interesting to a new one.
“I want to do a re-read of all my other books while it’s away with the copy editor …”
Joe, if you nail yourself to a desk all day and toil like you’re in a sweat shop, why not just admit it? I mean, these rumours about drunkenness and spending hundreds of hours gaming … I don’t see it. You’re whizzing through your editing process, and obviously in a clued up way, and just the re-read of all those other books sounds like weeks’ work to me.
Forget whisky, I’m thinking temperance and a protestant work ethic.
God, this reminds me that I have to buy Best Served Cold. After reading The Heroes, I feel like I spoiled the whole book before I even got my hands on it.
I was almost tempted to vote for Patrick Rothfuss’ excellent ‘The Wise Man’s Fear’, and it would have been a very difficult decision but for the fact that ‘The Heroes’ is just so bloody good!
“roughs for the weapons are in”
Weapons? Plural? More than one? Ooooo
I saw Gillian Redfearn tweeted the other day that she’d seen a rough draft of the cover.
By the end, yes, pretty jaded, can’t wait to get it out the door. Pride, hopefully, comes after it’s published and gets a response.
I agree. I am deep in high-level talks about it with my imaginary friend, who is a powerful studio executive.
Ha! That is amusing. Not a lot of big selling westerns being released at the moment, I would guess.
Oh, I think you’ll still find a couple of surprises in there.
Just been to the sfx site, massive banner advert for the Heroes linking to the Amazon page for it. Good to see! Next up a trailer for your book in cinamas before they show the Avengers?
Was “Discover the King of British Fantasy” your line?
Seems like a long time ago that i emailed you after first reading The Blade Itself having enjoyed it immensly. I’ve just started reading the first law from the beginning again, for the third time and my copy has a lovely dog-eared, slightly dubious herby aroma to it that is deeply comforting and wistfully nostalgic. (Speaking of which, say nostalgic out loud….such a weird word, sounds Gurkish perhaps) Anyway, i love westerns, especially Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven and The Wild Bunch and i’m really looking forward to the new book. Good luck fella, hope it’s a belter!
Love your books and your writing style Joe.Not to mention the rich storylines you take me as a reader through.I follow your blog for a long while by now.And well…I guess i’d have to say I love that too.I follow your work closely and like many others,can’t wait for your next book.Keep up the good(and no doubt,hard)work.A fan from Belgium.
Dude, (I’m from California)
This is another great post. I don’t know about other people but I love hearing about the rewrite process. Of course, maybe that’s because I’m doing that myself right now but still. Thanks.
Speaking of spirits. I made a burbon sauce last night to go on top of some bread pudding. It was pretty bomb, but when I pulled the bottle down from the shelf it was 3/4 gone. So, I blamed my wife for drinking it all when I wasn’t looking. She replied with a slap to my backside.
Keep the good news rolling! Whisky, westerns and swords! My kind of party!
I’d hate to clean up the morning after that party.
Only imagine. For me, every morning is that morning.
It does my heart good old son to know you are still so hard at work and supporting Scotland’s spirits industry…..
When I first heard about the book I was so excited! Inquisitor Glotka is coming back! I thought.
Sad Panda face.