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(pronounced Ko-Hane)
Dan is the Bram Stoker-nominated author of Plague of Darkness, Solomon’s Grave, and the critically-acclaimed Margaret's Ark. Writing as G. Daniel Gunn, he released Destroyer of Worlds and the novella (written with L.L.Soares) Nightmare in Greasepaint (Samhain Publishing),. His short stories have appeared in Cemetery Dance, Shroud Magazine, Apex Digest and many more. He and his family live in New England.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Destroyer of Worlds - 43% draft 3 - and choices to make

As of yesterday I'm 43% through the third draft. In the past I've gone over the manuscript one more time on-line after this before printing it out and paper-editing for a couple of drafts, but I'm going to move on to paper for the 4th draft because a) It's looking pretty good as I go through, though I'm still hacking and slashing at every sentence, and b) it's looking pretty good.

Aren't they the same? Yes. But here's the rub - what I call Word Blindness. It's looking pretty good because it is good, but also because I'm so used to seeing every page in the same format, I'm starting to skip over words, not seeing the story with an objective eye anymore. When this happens, our brain fills in the gaps, knowing what's coming, what's been written, and it looks better than it is. Time to print it off (or, if you always print and edit, time to change the font to Ugly Courier) and go at it with new eyes. Still, almost there....

Then? When my work is done and Janet/Fran/Mark have all inked their critiques of it? Time to market it. Because this book is so different from the type I've done recently - straight out horror, this time - I have to make a decision whether to give it to my US agent, who's currently marketing the first 2 (Solomon and Margaret's Ark, not Plague at the moment but to be honest still not sure if I'm not going to re-do the ending a little), or go at this on my own. I'm leaning towards marketing this on my own at first, considering my thought that I need some standard horror novels out there to build a name/rep, considering within the market I've got new stories coming out soon in some major outlets, best fire while the irons are hot (if that's the expression). Otherwise it'll simply line up behind the others and wait, and even then... not sure. A bit of a dilemma - am I being impatient, or realistic as far as how things are progressing (or not) here in the states and beyond?

The above, last question is, I think, critically important for my future, and one I need to decide on soon.

Anyway, the title the new book is going to be Destroyer of Worlds- it just works so well on so many levels. It'll change, probably, when an editor gets a hold of it. Who knows? If that happens, they can call it whatever they want. The question is finding a publisher, which is always hard.

Still, as always, while my beloved proofreaders hack and slash, I'll start outlining the next. Whether this is going to be the sequel to Solomon's Grave, or another rewrite of Solomon's Grave itself to work better in the US market (a distinct possibility), or an entirely new horror novel, we'll have to wait and see.

2 comments:

Michelle Pendergrass said...

If I could help, I certainly would but considering I stare at you in envious awe for writing and re-writing so fast--I just need to get this thing down on paper. *sigh*

Dan Keohane said...

Hah. Yea, I'd thought of you, actually, your comments are always right on the money ("Ray Gun" wouldn't be half as good without your notes) problem is, with so many of my regular proofreaders lined up to read or comment on DOW, I won't know which end is up if I let you have a crack at it, too! lol.

And thanks, I've been really trying this time to push myself (and actually succeeding, which is a plus). I usually wallow in the first draft for 6 months but now - I don't know. Maybe I'm feeling desperate or maybe my own mortality is whispering a little too loudly in my ear. So many books to write, so little time!!!!