I spent a few hours working over some second-pass queries on A King in Cobwebs this morning.
First off, I will confess to going through my usual Stages of Taking Criticism thing: it always takes me a minute to get my head on the right way around. There is, for example, a crucial difference between finding fault and catching stupid mistakes before it’s too late. This can take me a few minutes to fully appreciate.
I had some peers peering. Some astonishingly astonished folks. And many a missing word.
My favorite of all of these gaffs occurred during an ostensibly suspenseful sequence. In one five-paragraph stretch of murderous cliffhangers, I chose to begin not three but four out of five paragraphs the word “finally”.
This was a section over which I had labored for what may have been years. It had survived the scrutinous scrutiny of three professional scrutinizers.
In the end, the poor reader began to wonder if the whole thing was intentional. (I picture an extraordinarily ill-judged attempt at something like “The Charge of the Light Brigade” here).
Thanks Heavens for all of the world’s surviving editors, copy editors, and proofreaders. I, for one, certainly need them.
I’m not sure what I’ll hear next from the illustrious team at Tor, but the book is getting very close to its November debut. Finally.