Friday, 14 October 2011

On the Cusp of Exhaustion

Yesterday I sent my manuscript ‘Deathhawk’s Betrayal’ to Writing Australia’s Unpublished Manuscript Award. I had done four sets of revisions after receiving feedback from my beta readers, and a couple before that. The latest four sets of revisions required me to edit and revise solidly from April until, well, yesterday. In case you’re wondering, yes that means I read my own 90,000 word novel (approximately 320 A4 double-spaced pages) four times in the last six months. 

Can I say I am exhausted? The last three weeks especially have been gruelling. As I mistook the closing date for October 31 instead of October 13, the last three weeks required me to edit 3000 words a day to finish in time. If I wasn’t working, I was more or less writing. On the train to work, on the train from work, and after dinner until around 11pm. Did I mention I get up at 5:45am? Oh and Sunday night I got three hours sleep due to a restless toddler. 

 As much as I love it, I do not want to look at that manuscript for at least several months. Fortunately, results are not released until the end of November. If I don’t win, I can let it sit until next year. If I do win, they are going to give me money to pay someone to mentor me. Yay! Call me pessimistic, but I don’t have any real expectations of winning. As you know, I write fantasy. Unless the competition is dedicated exclusively to speculative fiction, trying to win a competition with a piece of fantasy fiction is akin to trying to win an Oscar with something like ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl’. And we all know how well that went - don't we?

So now I am at a loose end. What am I going to do with all my time? 

As it turns out I actually have a list as long as my arm. I’ve promised about three people guest blogs. I have to catch up on my own blogs, which I had let slide for the last week. I did a new post for Somebody Has To Say It last night and of course this one today. I’m participating in Six Sentence Sunday again this week and there will probably be another post here on Flight of the Dragon early next week. 

On top of that I had committed to read and review two books. If you are one of these people, I am terribly sorry for the delay. I am on to this now. Less formally, there are two people who have asked me to provide some pointers on their own work and I also participate in two critique groups, one of which is very active.

What I’m looking forward to the most, though, is reading. I haven’t read very much at all in the last six months and I miss it! Here is my reading list as it stands at the moment:

  1. ‘The Ways of Kings: Part 2’ by Brandon Sanderson;
  2. ‘Spirit Gate’ and ‘Shadow Gate’ by Kate Elliott;
  3. ‘Medalon’ by Jennifer Fallon;
  4. 'The Iron Tree’ by Cecelia Dart-Thornton;
  5. ‘Master of Dragons’ by Margaret Weis;
  6. ‘The Bourne Identity’ by Eric Van Lustbader;
  7. ‘The Magician’s Guild’ by Trudi Canavan;
  8. 'The Blade Itself’ by Joe Abercrombie;
  9. ‘A Dance With Dragons’ by George R. R. Martin;
  10. ‘The Omen Machine’ by Terry Goodkind;
  11. ‘Royal Exile’, ‘Tyrant’ and ‘Goddess’ by Fiona McIntosh;
  12. 'Path of Revenge’ by Russell Kirkpatrick;
  13. ‘Nascence’ by Tobias S Buckell;
  14. ‘The Assassins: Forged in Blood’ by Goran Zidar;
  15. ‘Grand Duchy’ by Kevin Edwards;
  16. ‘Witches’ by Phil Stern.
  17. ‘The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu’ by Michelle Franklin
  18. ‘The Serpent Bride', The Twisted Citadel’ and ‘The Infinity Gate’ by Sara Douglass;
  19. ‘Stormed Fortress’ and ‘Initiate’s Trial’ by Janny Wurts.
I am looking forward to it with child-like delight!

You can learn more about 'Deathhawk’s Betrayal' here and the protagonist, Astarl, here. Look out for another excerpt this Sunday in Six Sentence Sunday.


Karina Cox said...

Wishing you the best of luck, Ciara!!

Kelly Gamble said...

Congratulations on meeting your goal! What a great feeling.  Although my list is a little different than yours, I am having 'reading November' too.  As much as I love writing, it is going to be a nice break from the past several months of none stop revisions. Enjoy.

Pete Grimm said...

Great dragon pic!
I once heard a NY Times BS author say he edited his book 72 times ... and never wanted to see the manuscript ever again. I read it and it seemed overworked, sometimes contrived and awkward in phrasing. But imagine that, 72 edits ... Boggles the mind.

Krystal Wade said...

Good luck to you! Edits are tough, but sometimes for the best. Just be careful not to lose yourself in other people's "wants" for YOUR novel. ;-)

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