From February 7th, I have been hard at work editing pages of the manuscript I wrote last year (The Queen of England: Coronation). Today, I finished my edit. While everyone has their own technique, I tend to print out a copy and mark it up in red pen (this time, pink ink). Having wide columns allows me to make notes to myself, write additional dialogue and add questions for research and follow up.
I think this novel is firm evidence that writing while working an extremely full time job is a very bad idea.
It’s not that the book isn’t salvageable — I do believe there are pieces that have promise, but it is going to take a lot more work than I originally anticipated. I was lazy. I believed future Courtney would clean up my mess. I started plots that went absolutely nowhere. I have no real antagonist. There is a telepathic unicorn (I promise, this one makes sense). I have a good premise, but one that is not delivered or realized. Poor Queen J.
Furthermore, when writing the book, I was convinced it was a steampunk novel. Guess what? It’s not! Upon further research, I realize that a much better fit for the book would be as a Gaslamp Fantasy. Gotta love crazy subgenres, right? Stumbling into this definition actually made me feel a lot better. For all the steampunk I’ve been reading, I know the audience is a smart one and very protective of the title. While I might have a few steampunk elements, in no way are there enough details to classify the book as true steampunk. To do so would’ve alienated people. Now, I have a subgenre that is a much better fit. If you like steampunk, you would mostly likely enjoy The Queen, but I’m not going to force it as something it is clearly not.
So, what happens next? Well, the giant stack of marked up papers is going to eventually become a first draft. I’m debating whether to move everything into Scrivener or simply edit in Word. (Yes, these are the decisions of my life). I anticipate it will take longer than the three weeks this effort took, but by the end, I should have a much more streamlined product with some much needed scenes and cuts — one that I will (gulp) be ready to share with others.
What’s your latest creative effort?