Saturday, 13 October 2012

Updates All Around!

Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Craig Pyette, a Senior Editor at Knopf Canada (Randomhouse). Craig reviewed the first twenty pages of my short story collection, Beyond Reason, and provided feedback on it.  He mentioned some things that other editors who have read the book never noticed; for example, Craig suggested that the two main characters in the first story, being soldiers, should be grimmer than they currently are.  He also offered some grammatical suggestions on things I thought I’d fixed.  For example: “’Yes, of course,’ Gideon smiled”—it’s impossible to “smile a sentence.”  Aside from these two points, he questioned my research methods and the facts of the time period (seventeenth century), and was very interested in the information I had managed to unearth and include.  Craig praised my research and said that it made the writing richer and more believable.


Unfortunately, though, I’m beginning to feel that these one-on-ones (at least for Beyond Reason) are reaching a point where the only suggestions editors can offer are personal preferences, rather than actual constructive criticism.  I’m hesitant to make changes based on these comments, because agents or other editors might have their own vision of the text that conflicts with those changes.  I think my best bet at this point is to wait and see what the agent who currently has the first story (Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory, who requested the first story at the Algonkian Conference I attended last year) has to say.  I recently received an email from him apologizing for not yet getting to my work, and encouraging me to keep writing in the meantime. 


As if I could stop writing! ;)  Between working for the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, applying for a job as a student news writer, looking for articling positions, and trying to keep up with classwork, I’ve started the fourth round of edits on The Harper’s Word, and begun work on a prequel tentatively titled Pencerdd.  This new book has sent me looking for research material on everything from druidic rituals, to tracks up Mt. Snowdon (Thanks to Colin Antwis for his awesome tactile map of Snowdonia National Park!), to early medieval Iceland.  It promises to be an interesting write and, hopefully, an interesting read as well!


I haven’t forgotten Underground.  I spent a bit of time yesterday working on chapter six, and it’s very nearly finished.  I hope to have the first draft done this weekend.  After that, it’ll just be a matter of whether my usual editors have the time to skim through it.  Hopefully you will see “Too Hasty” before too long!  Check back soon for more details!


To learn more about any of the stories mentioned in this post, check out

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