The covers (ebook and print versions) for my upcoming fantasy novel are complete. I’m still addressing the concerns of some beta readers. The slow process of reading the manuscript out loud has also begun. Actually, more than a beginning; we’ve completed the first sixteen chapters. I’m not ready to reveal the cover or title. But allow me to simply divulge this tidbit…SoDL: Tales of Tyrennia, Book One.
Never Trust an Author with a Clean Desk 🙂
I heartily recommend reading your manuscript out loud with a partner. I’m almost stunned at the quality of the end product. Every craft book, or self-help blog post I’ve read have proven their weight in gold. The stream-lined manuscript comes in at three-hundred-twenty-three pages. My formatter says that it will equal more in print, around twenty pages extra.
The first drafts for books two (M&M: Tales of Tyrennia, Book Two) and three (TFW: Tales of Tyrennia, Book Three) are done as well. These drafts are somewhat raw, but I’ve been through the first five chapters of book two and feel it’s ready for another set of eyes.
I guess that’s what happens when one advances their wordsmithing craft. I’m ready for beta readers after three drafts rather than ten or twelve.
Now it’s your turn to give me your progress report. Tell me about your Work-In-Progress.
Every Time You Reply Little Frankie Doesn’t Cry
Naming Conventions Can Be Quite A Sticky Problem
From the Seven Seas of R’haquirkh to characters names like Ma’charlkh, and the city of Shavartanshiquilltengshui, the naming conventions within Fantasy novels can be veritable tongue twisters. Such discombobulated names that almost contain every letter of the alphabet with apostrophes can aggravate and disorient readers much like a jump cut from a French New Wave film.
If any of the above names have actually appeared in a Fantasy Novel…well that’s just dumb luck.
Of course, from the other side of the coin comes an equally viable point of view. A main character named Paul, with his trusty sidekick Tommy, and love interest Lucy, from Milltown, could also serve as a means to prevent reader immersion. These names are too close to the real world and can block out your world-building efforts.
Names I’m Using
In my forthcoming fantasy novel, the first in the series called The Tales of Tyrennia (were you able to pronounce that?), I use the following names. I suppose I tried to be somewhat exotic without being too far-fetched.
Main Character: Dagorat – Secondary Characters: Cyril; Katrina; Liberon – Tertiary Characters: King Baldomir; Brother Maynard; Craicwyth; Magda; and Lhinthel (the Elven Queen). Villains: Lamortain and Xantasia.
Kingdoms: Ravenna, Quintalia, Easterly
Cities & Towns: Mentiria, Jalken, Ethelton, Dun Targill
Of course I’ll ask my beta readers too, but I’d to like to have it all fixed before I send them anything.
Did any of these names make you stumble? Got any suggestions or changes?
Every time The Queen and I are done #editing a chapter, I copy and paste it into a large manuscript document. That is the one which will get printed and sent off to Beta Readers. The file now contains the first seven chapters of my fantasy novel, An Easterly Sojourn.
What’s the big deal about chapter 7? Why didn’t I write a post after chapter six or five?
Public Domain Image Courtesy of Pixabay
The current draft of An Easterly Sojourn has 28 chapters. Therefore, adding chapter 7 to the manuscript file means that we’re 25% complete. That is to say, if one goes by chapter count rather than words or pages. For me, the sweat beads are lessening. I bragged in a post a couple of weeks ago that this #fantasy novel will be published rather than should be published.
Doesn’t Endless Editing Get Tiresome?
Yes it does. However, there are some short stories to edit as well. The tedium level reduces when you jump between different types of work and I don’t feel stagnated or repetitive. I even switch between projects while #writing as well. Perhaps I’ll put the brakes on after chapter 10 and switch to one of the short singles waiting on the proverbial “back-burner.”
Do you switch between projects? Does working on a single project, whether writing or editing become tiresome after a while?
DON’T GO – COMMENT BELOW
I have a very strict and grueling editing process. After my first draft is complete it goes to my wife (The Queen) for a cleaning. I’ll make any suggested changes for clarity, verb choice, descriptions et al and pass it back to her. She’ll make another pass and then it’s ready for a critique group (I’ll go into these processes in detail in later posts).
After the critique group (about 4-7 readers) is done, I’ll address any changes that I deem necessary.
Then it goes back to “Queen-editor and chief” for any further corrections. I’m still not done.
Now it is time for the beta readers. The piece is mostly “clean” for beta readers, so their concerns can be addressed with a few minor tweaks.
Finally the piece is ready for public consumption.
All of my Amazon and Goodreads reviewers have been impressed. They’ve mentioned that they love the quirky stories and characterizations. However, some have also called attention to the quality of the work, i.e., the quality of the prose, the lack of passive voice, or no grammatical errors. They recognized the time and trouble taken to create a quality product.
Therefore, do not ever skimp on your editing process, because people will notice.
Have others ever remarked about the process that you’ve put into something?