writing & publishing

Edits (Reprise)

Back to the tenebrous world of edits for Nights of Villjamur. I’m often amazed how thorough the process can be sometimes, and wonder how many readers realise just what structural and detailed work goes into the making of a book.

For those interested in the publishing process, since the book has been bought back in Feb, I’ve gone from a 200,000 word novel to a 150,000 word one—ripping out a whole plot virtually, eliminating characters, to streamline, and to make the pacing quicker. The nearer a book is to 150,000 words then the more chance there will be of licensing rights being sold. (Translations into German, especially, due to longer words in that language.) Also, there’s a whole host of print costs that publishers keep in mind—it costs more money to publish a thick book. So, it must be slimmed.

I have a tendency to overwrite (some would say over-speak…) so I needed a beating from Peter Lavery. Now there are structural things going on from the new Pan Macmillan / Tor editor, Julie Crisp—and I’m very glad to have both male and female editorial eyes looking over things, especially with regards to characterization. None of the changes will be obvious at the end to a new reader, of course, but there is a lot going on.

I’m extremely glad to be doing this in such detail with such a great team, because I’m able to feed things between the first two books in the Legends of the Red Sun series. I can go back and bury things ready to detonate in the third book—should it get commissioned. (Touching wood frantically…)

So for any struggling writers out there, don’t think the pain stops if the book is taken on by a publisher. Cancel that social life. Forget about the TV.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

4 replies on “Edits (Reprise)”

Wow! It seems like the publishers have A LOT more input into the finished product than I thought they’d have, something which as an aspiring novelist myself makes me a little nervous.

Just trying to figure out what 2000 words is in terms of pages… Nope, I give up.

Oh yeah, it’s hugely influential. Readers never get to see that work unfortunately, but it’s there regardless.

2000 words – I’d say less than 10 pages, depending on format and font size… Novels these days (in the UK) tend to be over 90,000 words in the genre.

Comments are closed.