The process of becoming a published novelist has given me a chance for a number of new and interesting experiences. One of these is dealing with my work at later stages than I’ve been used to; when I’ve had short stories published my contact with the story ends either with signature on contract, or, if the publication lets their authors check the proofs, a final read-through before going to press (or pixel).
With a novel, there’s the copy-edit, which is an iterative process, and one I’ve been learning with the help of my editor over the last few weeks. This has been an interesting experience, both for its own sake, and also to revisit ‘Principles of Angels’, as it’s a story I know well but which I haven’t looked at for many months.
But at the same time, part of my attention has already moved on. The second book, ‘Consorts of Heaven’, is complete in first draft, and though I’m deliberately not starting re-work yet (it needs more time to ferment in my subconscious), I do keep thinking of stuff to add to my long list of notes for the re-write, usually in the form of a bit more ‘world detail’.
And then I’ve got the third book, where I need to bring everything (and everyone) together. I wanted to use some time this month to get to grips with the overall shape and feel of this story, and I think I have. And I’ve got a – provisional – title now: ‘Echoes of Paradise’.
Previously I’ve tended to pursue only one writing project at a time, partly by inclination but partly, I suspect, by habit. Given that I’ve also revised a couple of short stories this month, and I’m hoping to write at least a couple more short pieces in first draft, I’ve got a very full head at the moment. But I seem to be coping, even enjoying it.