Hurricane (Tempest: book 3)

The big news is that the completed manuscript for Hurricane (book 3 in the Tempest series), has arrived back from my editor. What should I do with it next? Stephen King says (and who am I to argue with him?) that when you’ve written a book you should put it in a drawer and forget about it for six weeks. I sort of am going to do that – and sort of not.

The first thing I did when I got it all back was go through every suggested change and either agree with it, disagree with it, or rewrite that sentence, paragraph, page or chapter. There wasn’t too much rewriting, but my editor’s suggestions sometimes threw out either how I’d missed the point I was aiming for, or how I could have been more precise, or articulate, in making it. But mostly I accepted her suggestions; she has a deft touch. The complete manuscript now stands at 88,580 words.

So what I’m going to do now is nothing at all on Hurricane. I will continue working on Tempest Origins (book 4 and the final book in the series). I shall read a few books for fun and relaxation. And I will probably watch a bad film or two. Or maybe a good film. Then I’m going to format the set-aside Hurricane as an eBook, email it to my Kindle, and read it once again.

After that I’ll email the (updated/altered/revised/unchanged) Kindle version out to a couple of gullible fools trusted readers for their views on how it sits. And then I’ll get back to the book 4, the Tempest Origins piece. I do wonder, in my most sleepless of nights, what I’m going to do when I’ve finished writing this quartet. I think I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Quiet revolution

When I’ve finished a manuscript, and I’ve given it a whole-piece read through/revision, I’m very particular about what happens next. I set it aside and I’ll read a book. Or maybe two. Possibly even a third.

Then, when I’ve felt enough time has passed, I’ll take my recently finished manuscript, format it for eBook and email it to my Kindle. Then I read it all over again and that Kindle read-through usually throws up a lot of things. Maybe misplaced punctuation, maybe typos, maybe examples of horrible, inarticulate writing, and maybe even timeline/logical errors in the story. I photograph all the things that need revision, and make the necessary changes (usually the next day).

Then I send the updated manuscript off to my editor. She splits the manuscript up into evenly-spaced sections. A 100k-word manuscript will get split into ten sections, and she usually sends me a section a day for review, and this is where I talk about the quiet revolution.

Anyone who regularly uses Track Changes in Word knows that the floating bar moves around. You can’t leave the cursor on ‘Accept change and continue’ and just keep hitting the mouse button because the ‘Accept change and continue’ button moves around the place. You might end up adding a comment which wasn’t your intention. Or doing something else which also wasn’t your intention.

What I’ve done, to get over the floating ‘Accept change and continue’ button is to create a keyboard shortcut for the ‘Accept change and continue’ function. I’ve mapped the shortcut to CTL-A. This means that when I’m reviewing post-editor changes, I use CTL-A, CTL-Z, and CTL-S , and I don’t need to muck about with moving the cursor at all.

This has improved (and speeded up) my post-editor review process so much, I am finding it difficult to believe I hadn’t done this last year.

Anyway, if you haven’t already fallen on this happy upgrade, grab this change with both hands. It’ll revolutionise your (writing) life.