This afternoon, I shall be mostly writing up a list of corrections to the US proofs for Stormcaller. Nothing entirely unusual about that, but it does make me realise how long a book can stay with you. Over lunch I was reading A History of Hell (brilliant btw, if ever you’re planning a hellscape then I heartily recommend it) in preparation for The Ragged Man which is no 4 in the quintet, but here I am marking up corrections to my first book. It just goes to show that a) I’m a real slacker when it comes to fussy details, something I am doing my best to correct (starting with the little lady’s ‘Scottish English’, arf) b) once I decide on something I can’t stick to it exactly, c) I come out with systems so complicated that an editor or two, several professional proofreaders and a few more incredible sticklers for accuracy, still can’t impose consistency on my prose.
To be fair, the following books are vastly better and at least conform to the ridiculously complicated system I’ve had to devise, mainly regarding capitalising letters, but doing a quick count up, after the edit of Stormcaller (ie, when I was sent actual pages of text in its various forms), I’ve written up two sets of corrections for the UK proofs, one set on the trade paperback, another on the mass-market, and now one of the US set. Five set of corrections and it’s still not as I’d want it (albeit with a certain amount of internal logic that hasn’t been transferred to book 2’s style guide).
I want to sit at home, I said. Making up stories can’t be that difficult, I said. Far better than getting a real job, I said. Ok, so the last one’s true, but no one explained I’d have to have a real job too!