Neonatal Queen of Swords

It occurs to me that y’all might find this email I wrote to my editor of interest. I wrote it today. This is my new editor at Bantam, as you’ll guess from the opening.

As we are working together for the first time I should tell you how I usually handle this stage.

I don’t look at the manuscript for three or four days. Then I look at it and panic. Then I make myself wait another day and look again and this time I find it’s mostly okay, with a lot of little infelicities. I have the urge to send you a revised version but I hold off because this is stuff you’ll figure out for yourself and can wait until the next stage, and anyway, you won’t want to print it out again for this kind of minor thing. And if I give into the urge as soon as I send it off to you I’ll find another five little things — typos, word changes — and thus will be caught up in the post-novel cycle that will drive you and me both nuts.

So in short: lots of little problems, I know. I’m ready to take all that on, as well as any larger issues you identify, when you get to that point.

If you have ever had a baby, you may remember the twenty four hours after the birth, when you were torn between examining every soft, fragrant fold and at the same time, terrified. When visitors come by you are tense. Will they trot out the usual empty compliments?

oh look, how adorable. how wonderful. how pretty, what a head of hair!

Or will they go to the other, more truthful extreme

gosh newborns are ugly. why is her/his head so lopsided? don’t worry, he’ll get some hair sooner or later. she looks just like you.

For me that’s how it works at this stage, alternating between absolute delight and terror. However. Today I allowed myself to read about five chapters, two from the middle and the last three, and I’m feeling pretty content with the story, with the flow of things and the resolutions. I hope y’all will like it too.

Oh and, it’s almost two in the morning. Books get finished eventually, but insomnia seems to be eternal.