You can't rush a genius...
Posted on June 10, 2010 (Subscribe to Blog)
...and you can't rush me either! As I waited for my two proofreaders to do their thang on Mountain of Whispers, I wondered if I could get away with light line edits this time. Alas, no such luck! For the most part there's nothing major to change, but there are a few minor loose ends and seemingly irrelevant ideas to clean up, plus one major scene that will certainly require a rewrite of one complete chapter (something I'll be tackling tomorrow).
This is all good, though. Labyrinth of Fire went through almost the exact same thing in October 2009, and it was all for the best. (Island of Fog was a completely different kettle of fish, with numerous rewrites over many years before it was cobbled together into its present form!)
It's amazing how many errors slip through. Before I sent Mountain of Whispers to my proofreaders, I thought it was a pretty tight, clean version. I almost felt like challenging them to spot the errors. Oh, how wrong I was! Anyone who thinks they can proofread their own manuscript and get away typo-free is a fool.
And there are factual errors to think about, too. While writing the novel, I did a quick bit of research on Stonehenge in Salisbury, England, and read that the inner circle stones weigh four tons each, while the outer stones are more like fifty tons. Wrong! A bit of extra research, as prompted by one of the proofreaders, tells me that the outer stones are actually twenty-five tons, not fifty. Good job he checked, or I would have had egg all over my face.
(Having said that, I could have argued that Robbie, who offered this information about Stonehenge as he climbed a steep hill, just got his facts twisted.)
Anyway, Mountain of Whispers is getting there, slowly but steadily. I'll post the prologue and first two chapters on this website in about a week, as they now seem to be on fairly solid ground. This round of proofreading is fairly tough, involving quite a lot of fixes, but the next round should be a breeze for another two volunteer proofreaders. They'll be reading it "like a book" and just commenting on anything that jumps out, rather than analyzing every line. It'll be like a final overall quality check before it hits the cybershelves.
And speaking of shelves... I've been contacted by a Barnes & Noble representative (the one I met at the recent Summer Reading Kickoff). He seems to be enjoying Island of Fog and has a few store managers interested in reading it next. This bodes well for my Fiendish Plan to get my books onto shelves in stores. More on this in a separate post!
What does 'genius can't be rushed' mean?
It means if you want something brilliant and amazing, sometimes you have to be patient and wait. :-)