Progress Report: October

Completion is imminent! Well, as complete as any work of this type can be, that is. Like any novel, or piece of music, or art, it’s only ever in varying degrees of imperfection. I could sit on the manuscript for another twenty years and it still wouldn’t be what I’d class as ‘finished’, so I must live with it in all its flawed glory and send it upon its merry way. Rather like a doting parent would to a fat, waddling, wheezing child on his first tentative, anticipatory day at school. And to continue the metaphor, no doubt he’ll get pushed over, picked on, ridiculed, slandered and terrorised, and that’s to say nothing of what his classmates will do to him. Teachers these days…

So. The serious edit is done and dusted, the prologue has been rewritten…again…and now I’m halfway through a continuity edit, which basically means I comb through the screeds of text looking for, funnily enough, inconsistencies, and try to hold my eyeballs in. Stuff that’s capitalised once and never again, names that don’t work, and dates that don’t add up, that sort of thing. There have been a few changes made to the chronology of events in the back-story of Adventurer’s Daughter, which of course have a knock-on effect further through the narrative. These need to be looked at and corrected, before they are allowed to enter the big wide world. Musty Fotherington packed a fair amount of adventuring into his life before his untimely demise, and to my dismay, I realised that he’d done several things twice, some things after he was dead, or before he was born, and many other gaping timeline holes that needed to be drastically reworked. These have a habit of hiding themselves away in the story.

After the continuity read-through, I’ll then do one final check over on a different format, this case being a Kindle. The eye becomes so used to looking at a screen of a certain dimension that it’s very easy to run right over mistakes that are glaringly obvious to somebody who isn’t familiar with the text. The idea with this is to trick the brain into thinking it’s looking at something new, so stuff jumps out and says ‘hey, fix me, you damn retard!’

With any luck, I’ll have perhaps 90% of the mistakes ironed out by the time we’re ready for launch. Speaking of, I think the Apollo missions ran at 68%, so we’re doing well. I made that statistic up, btw. Inspiration came from the recent election. Bastard politicians. 90% is pretty dang amazing, considering a manuscript, or magazine/paper article gets read by dozens of people, several of them professional copy-editors, before it’s ready to be type-set. And still you’ll find a mistake or two in any mass-market book you choose to pick up.

Anyway, the time is rapidly approaching when my weird obsession/hobby/brain-child/monster will be unleashed to the world. It’s been a freakin’ long time, a lot of hours sitting on the couch staring into space, with very brief flashes of insight, and even briefer flashes of inspiration. But we get there in the end. I’d be lying (like a politician) if I said I wasn’t apprehensive about this book. Of course we want our work to be received favourably, showered with adulation, and money, and so forth, but what it boils down to is a love of the game. I read books and write them for the pure enjoyment and fulfilment of it, and if I can coerce at least one person to do the same thing, then that’d be just neat. If not, well you can all go to hell…where fluffy bunnies and ice-cream await…obviously…