The dearth of new blog entries of late is mostly due to the fact that I’m really, really hard at work finishing off my latest novel, Nox. The novel is the fourth in the Corrosive Knights series, after Mechanic, The Last Flight of the Argus, and Chameleon.
It is also the first book in this series that ties together the various story strands introduced in those first three books. Those who have read Mechanic should realize right away that Nox features the protagonist of that book and, thus, is a pretty direct sequel to Mechanic. Without giving away too much, the book is more than “just” a sequel.
I just finished doing the fifth (yes, fifth) revision of that book. It is absolutely grueling work, but the way I write, I need to go over each novel very carefully to make sure all the story elements follow a logical progression. Most people who have written to me about my books or reviewed them note how there are plenty of “twists” in the stories. Making a story work while shocking and (hopefully!) delighting a reader with surprising plot twists involves carefully going over all those elements and making sure the plot twists follow logical paths and “make sense” when all is said and done.
I may have mentioned this before, but I know I’m getting close to being done with a novel when the latest draft revisions involve more grammatical issues rather than story deficiencies or structure. In the case of this fifth revision, a good 90% of the revision was indeed about grammatical issues, ie better sentence structure, tighter dialogue, eliminating repetition, etc. Toward the end of the novel there were some story issues that needed to be addressed but I believe they are good now and, after giving the book one more read-through, I’m reasonably comfortable to say the sixth draft will likely be the last.
A while back I posted an early version of the cover for Nox. Here is that early version:
Even when first posting this image, I figured there were things needed to be done and it wouldn’t be the final image used for the novel’s cover. Here, then is my most recent version, which I’m far more comfortable calling the “final” one: