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Who Wrote This? (A Silver Lining)

May 5, 2011 at 4:54 pm

So, a while back I wrote a long and comprehensive post about the multiple publication delays that have hit the Milkweed books.  I also mentioned that the books have moved to a new editor within Tor, and that things appeared to be back on track. 

And that continues to be the case!  In fact, I'm over the moon about my new editor.  We've had several great conversations about the books, and it's clear that we're entirely on the same wavelength.

I received the official editorial letter for The Coldest War last month.  (Just a few weeks after my new editor received the manuscript, and about 21 months after the manuscript was originally submitted on the contracted deadline.)  The editorial suggestions were absolutely spot-on.  They honed in on exactly the issues that I personally wanted to improve in the next draft anyway, and also provided some great advice on how to go about these improvements.  So I'm really happy with the notes, and with the revised version of The Coldest War.

The long wait for editorial notes had a silver lining, too.

 A few weeks ago I posted about the difficulty I have trying to be objective when I read my own work.  It's difficult to achieve the necessary amount of distance from a piece in order to read it with fresh eyes.  Turns out the wait on The Coldest War was long enough for me to forget certain details of the book.  As in, "Wow, I forgot this crucial scene existed."  Even as in, "Hey, who wrote this?  I don't remember writing this."

So that's fantastic.  I've been able to work through the original manuscript for The Coldest War with just about the freshest eyes I'll ever be able to bring to an old project.  It's a nice experience.  And it's improving the quality of my revisions, too-- that distance and objectivity makes all the difference in the world between seeing what I MEANT to say in a scene, and what I OUGHT to have said in a scene.  Recognizing the latter, and revising accordingly, has made for a stronger book.

And there's more cool stuff in the offing.  Nothing worth mentioning in detail quite yet, but I think we have some nice ideas floating around for neat things we can do with the hardcover, paperback, and audio releases.


Brit Mandelo May 5, 2011 at 8:47 pm
Cool! At least something good has come of it, yeah? Enjoy (for the quality of "enjoy" that can be had with them) your revisions.
Ian May 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm
Yeah, it's definitely a silver lining. I'm grateful for the chance to see this book with new eyes!
Steve Halter May 5, 2011 at 10:45 pm
That's great that it's all coming together!
Victor Milan May 6, 2011 at 1:08 am
Glad you finally caught a break. We'll hope the Triptych's fate takes a new direction. The one it should've been going in all along.
DMS May 6, 2011 at 7:11 am
After I read this last night, my husband wanted to know what the internet was doing to make me so happy.
Ian May 6, 2011 at 11:35 am
Steve: Thanks! Vic: If by new direction you mean, "Precog Nazi cosplay takes over the San Diego Comicon," I am SO with you on that. Dawn: The happiest the internet ever made me was when The Big Lebowski got rewritten as a Shakespearean play. I'm pretty sure that's what the internet was invented for.
Andrew May 6, 2011 at 11:50 am
I can't wait! To me there's nothing better than rereading an MS and getting that, "Who wrote this?" moment... er, when its good. Again yay!Waiting expectantly!!!!
Ian May 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm
Thanks, Andrew! It's definitely a nice feeling to find yourself saying, "Gosh, who wrote this? This is nice." Sort of the opposite, though, when it's, "Who wrote this piece of garbage? And what was he thinking?!?" I'm familiar with both... One more often than the other.
Dan Goodman May 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm
You see, time can play a good part in making a good book even better; glad things are starting to work out for you.
Ian May 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm
Absolutely! Like fine wine. (Although in my case the writing is probably closer to Ripple or Thunderbird than something fine and reputable...)
Susan Loyal May 11, 2011 at 11:55 pm
I'm very glad that things are going well. Best wishes.
Ian May 12, 2011 at 9:41 am
Thank you, Susan!
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