So, I’m Cleaning Up My Edits…

As I’ve mentioned the past couple of weeks, I’ve been cleaning up the edits for “In Forgery Divided” in preparation for its release (I’m still waiting on the cover art, as well. I was promised a copy of the pending-final-approval finished product “in a week” last Monday. Still 29 hours to go…). I’ve noticed a few things that should be mentioned (and those of you who follow me on Facebook might have seen a couple of these points before):

1. I’ve frequently heard “Your book will shrink by 20-30% as it’s edited.” When I edited book one (In Treachery Forged), this was largely true, but it hasn’t been true since. “The Kitsune Stratagem” increased in size, starting at just over 140,000 words and ending almost exactly 10,000 words larger. So far, about five chapters in, “In Forgery Divided” is keeping pretty darn close to the same number of words as it was in the first draft (despite a number of changes, the cuts and the additions seem to have balanced each other out). (I wish I could say what “The Merrimack Event” was doing, but I have yet to decide on an editor for it. In pre-editor self-edits, however, I did cut out about 30,000 words).

2. I’ve frequently heard “Those parts you struggled with the most when writing will be the best parts; the ones you thought were easy will wind up needing the most edits.” Again, this just hasn’t matched up with my experience. Through everything I’ve written, the things that I’ve had the easiest time with have had the fewest editorial comments (save some proofreading issues largely caused by my mild dyslexia; that doesn’t seem effected by the difficulty of the writing at all). The things I’ve struggled with the most in writing have had the most editorial comments. That pattern is (SO FAR) matching my experience with “In Forgery Divided” as well.

3. I didn’t really think of it as editing, but as I clean up the edits I recieve I’m doing a lot of editing myself. I’d say I’m more of a second-pass self-editor at this stage. I don’t just make the corrections my paid for (or bartered for, in this case) editor suggest; I read every word (well, more or less) and do my own editorial work. I don’t know if I do more edits than the paid for editor or not, but I do a lot of them.

4. I hate missing opportunities, but that can happen in the middle of a big project like this. When I was working to get “In Treachery Forged” released, I missed out on an opportunity to be part of a cross-promotional anthology because I was too busy. This time, an opportunity came up to volunteer as a beta reader for a bigger-named author — something which can really help a guy in the professional networking department. Unfortunately, I’m deep into the edits, and didn’t have time. I almost volunteered anyway, but by the time I figured out how I could handle it the author was full up.

5. Lots of people enjoy snow because it gives them time off. When you’re writing or editing, you get no time off; you lose time. You still have to work and you ALSO have to tire yourself (or injure yourself; pulled a muscle in my shovel arm) out shovelling on the same day. A blizzard can really kill your momentum.

I’m sure I’ll have more observations at some point. I may even get them into blog form, some day… but my blogs will continue to be a bit sparse until I finally get the book out.

So, That Post Still Isn’t Quite Done…

So, that post I told you about last week, the one I’ve been working on for weeks? Yeah, that still isn’t done. Sorry about that. I’d like to think you’ll forgive me when you hear the reason why:

The edits for “In Forgery Divided” have come in.

Now, the cover art isn’t done (though it’s getting there; I honestly was expecting to be able to give you news on that front, first), and I still need to go through these edits myself, but this is Big News. Editing is the most time-consuming part of the post-writing process. That phase is mostly complete, now (I say mostly because I still have to make my own final review, run a final spellcheck, etc.), and if the cover art is really as close as I think I may be able to get the book out, at least as a pre-order, in a couple weeks.

But don’t be surprised if I still haven’t finished that blog post by next week, either — I’m going to be busy working on the “In Forgery Divided” manuscript.

No Weekly Blog Post.

Obviously, I haven’t got a real post to post this Sunday.  I’ve been working on one for the last three weeks and it isn’t finished yet, and I don’t have any substitutes ready to go.  I’ll try to get SOMETHING up next week, even if it isn’t my planned post.

Convention Issues

If you’re new here, you may not have noticed that I maintain (well, try to, anyway) a listing of writer-friendly science fiction conventions, which you can normally find a link to up top. Because of the qualifications I look for when adding these conventions, most of what I include are smaller, fan-run conventions (though not all of them are “smaller.” Dragoncon constantly under-reports its attendance figures, and they claimed 70,000 attendees last year; that’s on the list).

That usually makes for a good, fun convention. But, as someone who tries to maintain a certain minimum amount of information on these conventions, it also frequently means their websites are one man operations, which may or may not have any oversight. This can result in convention listings with rather amusing omissions from their listings.

For example, take Ro-Con.  Ro-Con, the successor to the now retired Pi-Con, notes on its website that it will be catered to by the hotel restaurant (though it is not described as the hotel restaurant; you would only know this if you were familiar with the hotel), La Luna of New London.  Here’s the kicker:  Nowhere, on the website, do they mention where the convention is actually held!  (I will note that, several months after I found out about this convention and contacted the staff to find out where it is being held, they started mentioning it is in “Southeastern Connecticut,” but it still doesn’t list the hotel it is being held in).

College-based conventions rarely have informative website.  Take, for example, JohnCon, a science fiction convention based in Johns Hopkins University.  You will note that they claim they will be hosting their 2016 convention in “Spring.”  Nothing more than that, even though it’s already January.  At least they give me that much warning — I’ve found a few conventions which don’t update their website for almost a year, making me wonder if they’ve shut down operations, only for them to announce the new dates a week or two before the convention actually happens.  I understand it, sort of, with these collegiate conventions — they probably get most of their attendees using flyers on campus, and so any attendees they might get from their website are a secondary concern — but it does complicate things when I only update every other month or so.

Worse is MonsterCon.  I know there is an actual event called “MonsterCon,” and that it takes place in South Carolina at some point over the course of the year.  They run so many lesser events, however, that they somehow have forgotten — for at least the last two years — to include the actual MonsterCon on the MonsterCon website; I’m only certain it’s been going on because I have facebook friends who somehow were able to figure out when and where it was and were able to attend.  (I believe they were actually invited guests; I’m not sure how anyone else figured out when it was).

But at least it has a website — there are a few conventions I try to track (The Tidewater Alliance’s Galacticon, for example) that only ever get mentioned on Facebook.  We all know how reliable Facebook is, right?  These are usually smaller, one-day conventions, but not always — SciFiCon VA is a 3-day convention based out of Staunton, Virginia, and the only website I’ve ever been able to find for them is their Facebook page.  I wasn’t able to list their November convention because I didn’t hear they were holding it until the first day of the con; I tried following them on Facebook, but I never got the event notification.

This is the sort of thing I have to deal with maintaining the event calender.  So, if you know of a convention I’ve left off of this calender and you think it belongs here, please, PLEASE let me know.  Especially if it’s a smaller one, a one-day convention, a convention based out of a college, a convention that updates only on Facebook, or whatever else.  You don’t have to run said convention, or be on staff, or have any connection whatsoever with it — if all you know about it is that it exists and it’s not on this list, please let me know.

Obviously, this blog was not the next blog in the “This Book Cannot Make Any Money” series, but was instead prompted by the convention calender update.  Next week, assuming I don’t have any news about “In Forgery Divided” (I’m hoping for some news any day now),  I’ll resume that series, but I hope you’ll be pleased with the calender update in the interim.  Happy (belated) New Years, everyone!