It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about The Redemption of Erâth, and I want to assure everyone that I haven’t forgotten about it. Oh no, not in the least. In fact, I’ve been working on it more than ever before, and it’s rapidly approaching the point where it’s ready to ‘move into production’, as my publishing company puts it.
Let me start back in early October. I received the manuscript back from my editor with some wonderfully insightful thoughts and suggestions that helped me see the book in a whole new light. You see, I’d got to the point where I just couldn’t see the faults, I was so close to the material. Having that professional outside opinion was invaluable, and set me on the course for re-editing the manuscript, once and for all.
Some of the major points she made were that I don’t develop Brandyé’s character enough. Oddly, she found that the supporting characters were at times more interesting than the main character (I actually find this true of a lot of novels I read, personally). For instance, I say that Brandyé is a naturally inquisitive person, but I never have anything happen in the book that shows this. He has this mysterious birth that I don’t touch on again throughout the book. For that matter, there are a number of things I don’t return to in the book – one-offs that appear, are interesting in themselves, and then just don’t come back.
Now in fairness, a lot of these things are due to recur in the subsequent novels, but I hadn’t ever stood back and looked at this book as a work of its own. When people read it for the first time, they aren’t going to know about the following novels; it needs to stand alone as-is. This meant removing some content, and rewriting some other content. Some of the chapters, including those involving Sonora, were almost completely rewritten.
She also pointed out that the villains aren’t ‘villainous’ enough. And this is a very fair point. In fact, the villain, the Lord Garâth, is not particularly villainous – merely hungry for power. It’s his son that is the true villain, the one who is evil – yet another thing that will prove exceptionally important in future stories.
So what I’ve been doing since receiving the manuscript and talking with her (it was also wonderful to have the chance to meet her in person and discuss things) is working through the manuscript one page at a time, approving changes, making corrections and writing new material. One of the biggest sources of grief was the dialogue, which Neil Viswanathan will smile at, because the feedback was that it was overly formal and unrealistic. I’ve had to go back through all the dialogue and tidy it up, and I’m sure that there’ll be sections I’ve missed.
And that’s where I’m up to; right at the moment I’m reading through the manuscript one last time, finding the final glitches and mistakes and scanning for continuity, and then…I submit! What I’d love to do (what I’ll certainly try to do) is share a weekly update on exactly what’s happened that week in the path to publishing The Redemption of Erâth.
I can’t wait!