Well, after seven weeks of notes and planning, I’ve started what I really, really hope is going to be the final rewrite of the new book. I’ve got this one labelled in my notes as version 5, which should be an indication of how many major changes it’s gone through already. Here’s hoping that there isn’t a version 6 (or if it is, it’s minor changes only).
Rewriting is hard work, so I’m not looking forward to this very much. It’s definitely necessary, though – the longer I’ve spent looking at my notes and plans, the more sure I’ve become that doing a rewrite was the right decision, and now that I’m about ten pages in and looking at the original version, I’m absolutely certain. There are lots of little things in the book stemming from decisions which made sense at the time but don’t anymore – when I started the book I was still feeling out a lot of the details of how the magic and the world worked, and it’s only now that I’ve got a clear handle on them.
Now that I’m getting into it, what this most feels like is the big rewrite I did of the first Alex Verus novel, Fated, more than ten years ago. Still, there are differences. When I rewrote Fated, a lot of the Alex Verus setting was still quite vague and undefined – I had a good idea of how the magic worked (since by that point I’d been developing and evolving it through four precursor novels) but the world itself was still very blurry and the long-term plot was nonexistent. For this series, I’ve got a much clearer idea of what the larger story will be – I’ve got books 2-3 sketched out in my head in a fair amount of detail, with plans for at least another 6 or so books after that. The plans are still fairly smoky with a lot of room for change, but they’re much clearer in my mind than the shape of the Alex Verus series was at any point in the first few books. I’m looking forward to getting there.
But that’s getting ahead of myself – right now, I have to finish this rewrite. The deadline I’ve set for myself is mid-June. If I hit it, and if my editors don’t ask for even more sweeping changes, then I should be able to give you guys a solid publication date once it’s done. Fingers crossed!