Charlie's Diary

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Sat, 20 Mar 2004

Finished: Reprise

I know I said I'd finished the novel on Tuesday. And I had. However, before sending a novel to your editor it's a good idea to give it a read-through. When you're writing a novel, you typically work at 1000 to 10,000 words per day -- in comparison, you typically read at 200-500 words per minute. When writing you can lose track of what you said ten days ago and repeat or contradict yourself, oblivious to the fact that your readers will have been there just twenty minutes ago.

It's also chastening to see just what atrocities a spelling checker can pull you up on, even though they often don't pick up trivial mistakes: "there" and "their" are, after all, both correct spellings. (Don't get me started on the subject of so-called grammar checkers: let's just say that they're not fit to be allowed within spitting distance of a work of creative writing, as opposed to a boring business memo.)

I just completed the intensive read-through and bug-fix on the finished manuscript. Which, rather than taking one day, ended up taking nearly four -- and we're talking ten to twelve hour working days here, too. Anyway, I don't think it sucks totally. In fact, I'm moderately satisfied. Satisfied enough that I'm willing to expose it to the withering glare of a critical readership. So I've just emailed it to my editor, and if he's satisfied I will breathe a sigh of relief.

When I was finishing up an hour ago, reformatting the manuscript for final output, I stumbled across a note in the front matter. It was the Draft 1 start date ... March 9th, 2002. Yes. I've been working on this bloody thing, on and off, for 106 weeks. It'll be at least a year before it's in print. And it's the first volume of a projected three volume story arc, so at the current rate I'll still be working on it in, oh, mid-2008. (Hopefully not: I'd like to get it finished faster than that!)

Writing is not a job for people who crave instant gratification.

[Discuss writing]



posted at: 21:12 | path: /writing | permanent link to this entry

specials:

Is SF About to Go Blind? -- Popular Science article by Greg Mone
Unwirer -- an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction
Inside the MIT Media Lab -- what it's like to spend a a day wandering around the Media Lab
"Nothing like this will be built again" -- inside a nuclear reactor complex


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Some webby stuff I'm reading:


Engadget ]
Gizmodo ]
The Memory Hole ]
Boing!Boing! ]
Futurismic ]
Walter Jon Williams ]
Making Light (TNH) ]
Crooked Timber ]
Junius (Chris Bertram) ]
Baghdad Burning (Riverbend) ]
Bruce Sterling ]
Ian McDonald ]
Amygdala (Gary Farber) ]
Cyborg Democracy ]
Body and Soul (Jeanne d'Arc)  ]
Atrios ]
The Sideshow (Avedon Carol) ]
This Modern World (Tom Tomorrow) ]
Jesus's General ]
Mick Farren ]
Early days of a Better Nation (Ken MacLeod) ]
Respectful of Otters (Rivka) ]
Tangent Online ]
Grouse Today ]
Hacktivismo ]
Terra Nova ]
Whatever (John Scalzi) ]
GNXP ]
Justine Larbalestier ]
Yankee Fog ]
The Law west of Ealing Broadway ]
Cough the Lot ]
The Yorkshire Ranter ]
Newshog ]
Kung Fu Monkey ]
S1ngularity ]
Pagan Prattle ]
Gwyneth Jones ]
Calpundit ]
Lenin's Tomb ]
Progressive Gold ]
Kathryn Cramer ]
Halfway down the Danube ]
Fistful of Euros ]
Orcinus ]
Shrillblog ]
Steve Gilliard ]
Frankenstein Journal (Chris Lawson) ]
The Panda's Thumb ]
Martin Wisse ]
Kuro5hin ]
Advogato ]
Talking Points Memo ]
The Register ]
Cryptome ]
Juan Cole: Informed comment ]
Global Guerillas (John Robb) ]
Shadow of the Hegemon (Demosthenes) ]
Simon Bisson's Journal ]
Max Sawicky's weblog ]
Guy Kewney's mobile campaign ]
Hitherby Dragons ]
Counterspin Central ]
MetaFilter ]
NTKnow ]
Encyclopaedia Astronautica ]
Fafblog ]
BBC News (Scotland) ]
Pravda ]
Meerkat open wire service ]
Warren Ellis ]
Brad DeLong ]
Hullabaloo (Digby) ]
Jeff Vail ]
The Whiskey Bar (Billmon) ]
Groupthink Central (Yuval Rubinstein) ]
Unmedia (Aziz Poonawalla) ]
Rebecca's Pocket (Rebecca Blood) ]


Older stuff:

June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
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December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
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July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
(I screwed the pooch in respect of the blosxom entry datestamps on March 28th, 2002, so everything before then shows up as being from the same time)



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