Revisions on THE VOICE OF PROPHECY are proceeding well.
The first thing I did when I started this round of revisions was make a plan. It started with going through the various critiques I’d received (three and a half–one person didn’t finish) in detail. I marked up each comment in my master manuscript. (Well, except for the ones I addressed immediately, like the few typos.) I also put some thought into the more extensive comments made at the end of those critiques (partly in response to some questions I’d posed, partly volunteered) and marked those up either at specific places in the document or at the top. I asked one of my critique partners some clarifying questions.
Now, as I proceed through the revisions, I have three main goals.
- Clarifying. This is especially the case for those critique partners who had not read the first book, THE SHAMAN’S CURSE. This involves mostly minor revisions, often just a sentence or two, to provide a little background to those readers who didn’t read THE SHAMAN’S CURSE first, or who might have forgotten certain aspects. This will mostly be in the first quarter or so of the book. One or two scenes that I’d deleted earlier may make it back into the book.
- Tightening. Especially in the first part of the book, I may need to just cut a bit more, move the plot along a little more briskly. In fact, I’ve just gotten to one chapter in particular that I need to look at seriously for this. This goal, of course, is slightly at odds with the one above. That’s the way it sometimes goes.
- Upping the Central Conflict. The first two will likely be completed in one pass. This one is more likely to require two passes. The heart of this book is essentially a mystery concerning the magic. Something (actually some things) happen that either aren’t supposed to be possible or are very disturbing to the main character. This is, in fact, where the issue of the Dual Magics comes out into the open. There are probably at least two things I’ll need to do to fix this. In some places, I’ll need to just make everything scarier. Others I’ll need to drag out for longer. (I allowed part of the mystery to be resolved too quickly. Need to fix that.)
That issue with the conflict is also the reason for the title change. I think some readers just had the wrong idea about what kind of conflict they’d be getting in this book. Of course, there are quite a few supporting conflicts that demand the use of magic–and sometimes spears–too.
When I feel like I’ve got a good handle on these revisions (possibly after I finish the first pass), I’ll put THE VOICE OF PROPHECY up for pre-order. This will be my first experiment with pre-order on Amazon, so I’ll be interested to see how that goes.
So, that’s what I’ll be doing for the next month or so. I also need to do the same thing for the related short story “Modgud Gold”, which needs some work before I can publish it.