Also, a spot of guidance about developing a novel on a low (for which read zero) budget.
The substantive edit (the one where an editor gets under the bonnet of the book and ensures it works structurally) was done by a fellow novelist – FD Lee – and in return I edited her most recent novel. The first draft went out to two beta readers who responded during the editing process and whose comments were included along with FD’s in the second draft, which was radically different from the first, while still essentially being the same story about the same woman.
The second draft went out to two different beta readers, both female to ensure I got the gender stuff right (harder than you think, even if you are a male feminist with a strong female side). One reader liked the first half of the book and disliked the second. The other liked the second half and not the first. This response was not the catastrophe you might think, because there were excellent reasons for these responses, which I am factoring in for draft three.
This draft will not be such a complete overhaul – more a change in emphasis and requirement to ensure the emotional through-lines ring true. It shouldn’t take long, because I know how all the characters feel and why, it’s simply that over-familiarity with the material means I assume every reader will ‘just get it’. It’s a common mistake that never goes away.
Another part of the process was writing a new novel, very quickly, in a different genre. That took my mind of this one so completely that I’ve got genuine fresh eyes on Beautiful Gun. I’ve got a story in an extraordinary anthology called London Centric coming out in October, so I will launch Beautiful Gun after that – possibly on by birthday, which is in December. Watch this space – it’s full of stars!
Also, if you haven’t started your Diamond Roads journey, the first novel in the series of far-future thrillers, Sons of the Crystal Mind, is FREE on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sons-Crystal-Mind-Diamond-Roads-ebook/dp/B00R8QP95U/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=sons+of+the+crystal+mind&qid=1599556307&sr=8-1. Have a read and kindly leave a short review. Just one line will do, it really helps. Cheers!