Saturday 27 November 2010

On Finishing That Final Edit

And so the edit for my second novel, called Cold Cruel Winter, seems to be over. At least, it’s gone back to the editor, although there might still be a few minor points to discuss.

Am I happier with it? Well, happier than with my first, given that I approached the book with more knowledge of my shortcomings and attempted to correct them. The proof, however, will be in the pudding, which is what readers and reviews think when it appears in May. But I do believe it’s a 100 per cent improvement on the first novel.

The map of Leeds has been drawn by a very talented artist and looks very good indeed. Given that the book revolves around the streets and landmarks of the city, I think a map helps place and ground it for those who don’t know the place, and aids them in finding their bearings. I want the Leeds of 1732 to live for people reading it.

Finishing that edit, saving the file and sending it back is a little like seeing a child leave home – or at least going to school. There will still be the proofs to read through, of course, but the real work is all done.

And meanwhile I’m more than halfway through the third book in the series ( currently known as The Constant Lovers), which is a bit of a surprise. The Broken Token - the first novel - feels like the work of someone else now, in many ways. The characters of Richard Nottingham and John Sedgwick have grown, but I’ve grown even more. This playing God thing is quite fun, as long as I don’t let it get out of hand.

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