The power of the red pen, plus a word or two on doodles

I am a little more than halfway through the hard-copy edit of Princess of Shadows. I hope to pick up the pace a little, since I would dearly love to complete this edit this month.

Despite the slower-than-anticipated pace, I am, so far, pretty pleased with how the edit is going. I’m cutting and tightening in good ways. Reading through the story, I’ve already discovered a couple of places that may need to be expanded upon, where it feels as if Kathy and those around her get to the place I want them to be too quickly. This is the sort of thing I typically pick up in the hard-copy edit.

I do have something sort of looming over me, though. For all the good editing I think I’m doing, I am worried that the third draft will still be too long– in the end I may not cut more than ten to twenty thousand words, if that. One criticism I’ve picked up from Goodreads and Amazon reviews of the previous novels is that they may be slow or drawn out in places– in short, that they may have pacing issues. I will probably need to think pretty hard about major cuts to speed things along. Kathy spends a lot of time in different places in the Empire in her struggle to get back to Crown. At the moment every incident feels necessary, but I wonder if that’s simply because I’m too close to the problem. This may be something I will have to ask my beta readers to assess for me.

Aside from that, I find that, when I am not editing Princess of Shadows, I am spending time doodling on a couple of other novels– not, oddly, Princess of Fire, but a standalone novel on another character from the Divine Lotus books, as well as a couple thousand words on the idea I had for a story about what happens to a group of ordinary people who are suddenly endowed with tremendous powers. The portion I’ve written on that one is at the end of the story–for some reason I often have a clear idea of how the story will end, but a very vague concept of how I’m going to get there. That probably says something profound about my approach to writing, and maybe life in general, but I could not tell you what it might be. Perhaps some questions are best left unanswered.



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