I recently finished a major round of edits on my forthcoming novel Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, courtesy of a slew of useful suggestions provided by my friend Steven Savage. And then I went back to the beginning of the manuscript and started the whole process all over again, because the edit suggestions Steve gave me ended up needing their own pass to be useful. I still needed to make an entirely separate pass apart from that, as it turned out. See, Mr. Sisyphus, all you have to do is push this stone up that hill ...
Okay, I shouldn't make it sound like this is all unrewarding drudgery. It's just a big book — longer than I expected it to be, a lot more intricate, and demanding of a much closer and more scrutinous editing job than I'd been able to give it before. In truth, I might have been able to wrap the whole thing in the first couple of months of this year, but for some time before that I'd been dealing with a slew of real-life things (none of which I want to talk about here) that made it difficult to give the work the attention it demanded. Now that most of those are out of the way, I can go a little more full-throttle.
Editing one's own work is always difficult. I would have had someone else come in and help, but the editor I relied on before isn't available right now. So I had to fall back on my own devices, and in cases like that, the only thing that really provides the level of perspective and proper objective distance on one's own work is just spending time away from it. At one point I was tempted to start the next book in the interim, maybe get some work done on that, and then return to editing AONO, but I've taken a ride in that elevator before and it always gets stuck between floors.
Still, I'm aiming to have the whole thing finished by the end of July or so, and completely out the door by the middle of August or sooner. I really don't want to spend two-plus years on each book; I'd rather release roughly a book a year or so, and make them a little more compact than the projects I've been putting out lately. But at the end of the day, the book has its own ideas.