I’ve been doing a lot of what I was talking about in my last post—reading through Dreamstate II and marking down places that I’m not so sure about. It had originally started as just an exercise to line up my ideas and make sure the new stuff I entered was holding strong with the plot, but as I go along I keep finding scenes and whatnots that are a bit off. Sometimes the scene is weak, sometimes the wording is awkward, and sometimes it’s something else entirely. I’ve been filling up a journal with page numbers and notes for things that I want to tweak. This is the third or fourth time I’ve done this with the book. I suppose it might slow down the next tier of release for the beta readers, but I’d rather send out something I’m happy with than something that I know has weak spots. One of the hardest things for me, however, is ignoring the grammatical stuff. I don’t like doing it until the very end, because I keep adding stuff in and I’ll have to fix it over and over if I start early. Some of the more… egregious errors I like to fix, because they make me angry, but missing quotation marks and the like are often left alone until later.
There are a few things that I’ve found, in this most recent read-through, that are most definitely relics of deleted subplots. If you didn’t know what they were, you’d just think that a character was acting a little odd for a moment. I, however, know exactly what those things were directing towards and why they’re no longer in the book. I’m not sure how I missed some of these points (tired while editing?), but I sure am catching them now. They don’t really detract from the story in any real way, but I’d like them fixed—because they can be better. At the very best people would just ignore those spots, but at the worst they interrupt the flow of the scene/ story and I’d rather that not happen. I might be nitpicking, but that’s really what editing is, nitpicking things to death so they become grand.
I’d said a few times now that I was going to talk a little bit more about the cover art, but looking back at my old post, I think I’ve covered most of it. Unless someone wants me to get into exactly how I made some of the effects, I don’t think there’s all that much to explain. There was some tricky finagling that I had to do to make sure that everything was even (the shapes) but for the most part I just drew things, straightened them up a bit, and then gave them pretty looks. There was about two weeks’ worth of fiddling and stressing over shapes and colors, but I can’t super talk about that without giving away book secrets—as I’d mentioned before. All in all, though, I am quite happy with the way that it’s turning out, and I think the design fits quite nicely with the first book cover while still being distinct. If you held them up alongside each other, you’d think they belonged in a series. I mean, I hope you do… I do, at least.