When I first started working with an alpha reader, I was a bit nervous, because he read every chapter as it was written (and still does), and it meant he would see the rough edges and the bits and pieces of incompetence that is raw first draft.
I was afraid that, because he loved these books and got them, he would become disillusioned because I was not infallible or genius or whatever. I was just me. This did not happen. He approached process as an edifice that had already allowed me to produce novels that he loved, and he was aware that he did not know what that process, ultimately, was — but he absolutely trusted it.
He was, however, still surprised.
I remember this clearly: he was surprised at how much of the work of a novelist had… nothing to do with writing the books. Revisions. More revisions. Editorial letter. More revisions. Copy-edits. Page proofs. Terrible angst about how. Damn. Long. The books were.
Starting the next book six times, trying to find the exact voice of the particular book. Etc.
And so: October.
Revisions (WAR). These came to a halt with copy-edits that were somewhat urgent at the beginning of October (Cast in Deception. I finished those just in time to go to Can-con. I returned to page proofs of the mass market edition of Grave. I have a book review column due in November, and there is not a lot of October left.
How much writing did I get done this month? T_T
about 2k words of a Severn novella.
War is now with my DAW editor. She will read it, and she will have comments, suggestions, etc. I will return to War when I receive them. In the meantime, page proofs are due back in the DAW office at the beginning of November. I can usefully proof about 50 pages a day before I start to miss mistakes. That will be the rest of October.
So: my intent going forward is to finish those page proofs (I am one of the authors who finds this agony because all I can see are mistakes, which is arguably the reason for page proofs), write novellas, and then start Cast in… while waiting for my DAW version of the editorial letter on War (which is a long phone call or two).