The Slaves and The Djinn: Final edit-as-I-go draft update?

Hello, my friends and the occasional relative!

I write this before I have finished my writing for these days off, with Chapters 31 and 32 written, so I am 96.96 recurring% of the way to completion of this edited-as-I-go draft. Cheers Ernest! Still no graphic representation. Except I have not really edited from 29 on, as I have been too excited and eager to sprint down the final stretch. And I was a little afraid of editing 29—it was intense—and I need a little distance to handle it semi-objectively. Update to my update: I have finished a version of Chapter 33, so I have an ending, though it might not be the ending, (subject to edits and revisions) but there you go. 100% baby! Still no graphic.

Obviously there is more to be done. I shall reread. I’m sure I shall find inconsistencies to be smoothed out, ideas I added as they arose and made sense at the time that either need to be more fully developed, or discarded. Some decision making, in short. Background and explanations of some social and religious elements that I feel now need additional depth to be more effective within the story. Little touches for verisimilitude. There’s a word. I have set myself a date for all revisions and rewrites to be done, and it is short: June 30th. I do not intend to get bogged down in this book the way I did with The Killer and The Dead. (Which I unsurprisingly regard as a magnificent book that I am very proud of: I don’t regret the time spent there, I just don’t want to repeat it.)

I intend to publish this calendar year, and the sooner the better. Too late for SPFBO, but that is just fine, it may make an appearance in next year’s competition, if it (the competition!) is still running—can’t take these things for granted! By 2024 I might need to get my submission in within the first 10 seconds of the competition opening, given how much faster the slots seem to fill up year after year, if not before 12.00.01pm GMT, with all the automatic emailed entries sliding in right as the competition opens.

But that is a problem for another year. For now I am deeply gratified that this process, which I finally fully embraced this January, has demonstrated its worth to me, who for many years wanted to write more, but struggled with procrastination: so easy to do anything else if I wasn’t “feeling it/in the mood”. So easy to be intimidated by the size of the task and do nothing instead of something to make the task smaller. The Really Detailed Plan™ plus editing the previous chapter(s) before writing the next has somehow made it so that I can always write something every weekend, as the editing draws me back into the flow of what I was writing, and prepares me to move forward, following the plan. The happy success of writing something solid regularly becomes infectious and self-reinforcing—I don’t want to let my own side down by slacking off and not advancing my imaginary progress bar every week. Writing this blog has been another method of positive reinforcement. It is nice to share success, rather than try to dissipate disappointment, or create news where there is none.

So there you have it my FatoR™ (with the capitals at either end so it looks like a 80s metal band logo—Metalliwho?), 100% achieved, and way ahead of my putative schedule of May 27th. Hell yeah!


2 thoughts on “The Slaves and The Djinn: Final edit-as-I-go draft update?

  1. Jason

    Hey Roddy (and nod to FatoR™)…

    actually got here only after commenting on the last blog post… I’ve been avoiding my email notifications for awhile.

    Just want to show maximum support for your “new” process. I think it’s way better.

    Remember, absolutely no artist is ever done with their work. But at some point, the artist has to finish their canvas.

    From my impressions, you have a good group to slap you around.

    You will never be content with the end process… and that is precisely why I like this “new process” of yours. It’s more “real” to me.

    I’m 100% certain that you would rewrite The Thief & the Demon at this point… but what you need to take away from that is that you SHOULD NOT.

    Production is so much more productive for all of us. Come to Spain… go to Barcelona and the Picasso museum which shows hundreds of “bocetos” (sorry, think that means “sketches”, but… really, it means preps… tests…) for the grand work of Guernica which is actually in Madrid. Every artist overthinks everything.

    The funny thing with Pollack… well, just, lmao.

    You are a perfectionist and will never be done… but art is sending the painting to a gallery, or in your case, sending the “final print” to the publisher.

    It’s not really the “end” in your mind… but what I really insist on is this: It’s never going to be art until you get it to the public. And doing this means putting a theoretical final touch on your talent for a particular project.

    Anyway, from my position in the FatoR™, you’re doing the right thing. Don’t be you so much… it’ll work just as well.

    Creative hugs.

    1. My thanks Jason. I think I’m over the attempt at perfectionism, which from me was always a hilarious concept anyway. The test will be sticking to my upgrade timetable, and then moving on rapidly with feedback and finalization. The real test will be having a ‘final read through’ that doesn’t lead to two years of edits.

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