Combing through the manuscript of Prequel, searching for les mots justes in place of the ones err, less justes, has been an exciting experience, all in all.
With many of the admonitions to new writers ringing in my ears as I peruse the text in earnest, trying to fillet out the clangers, the stylistic headbangers, I’ve come out the other side with a newly edited manuscript. With the best will in the world, there are things an author (especially a new author, I reckon) just doesn’t quite see, until somebody perceptive says, ‘What about that, then?’ And then, voilà, you see it and it’s snip snip snip and away. Or add in a crucial segment that makes things that much more accessible for the reader. So these changes really are the result of reader feedback, for which I’m really very grateful.
Folks worry about things like ‘voice’ and whether the admonitions to new authors might mitigate against the development of that voice. Alternatively, there’s the issue of really egregious stylistic faux-pas that will just jar if left alone. You can’t write in a Jane Austen style, for example, in the 21st century, after all. So you have to be reasonably contemporary with your style sheet. While at the same time being true to yourself. A tricky navigation, but a path I’ve tried to follow, especially in this final editing process. The process is gruelling, but the end result is better, I do believe that.
So sometime tomorrow, the 28th of May, having listened to all the advice I can garner, and acted upon it, I shall upload the final versions (eBook and paperback) of Prequel to the Amazon servers, and then sit back and wait for the formal launch, the live service of the novel, on the 1st of June.