Books by Tom Reeve

The Gray Shift Edits are Back!

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I got the edits on my full draft of The Gray Shift back from my editor two weeks ago and I finished going through all 291 pages of commented/redlined Word doc this past week.

My favorite comment is: “When the bisected torso hits the windshield, I would love for readers to jump out of their skin (metaphorically, of course). But to do that, the writing will need to be more cinematic. Traye rubbing his neck and saying don’t do that again is pretty funny, actually.

Overall, the storyline is good! My awesome editor in particular really likes the ending! 😊 Only one scene out of the entire book is slated to be cut completely. It looks like my new plan of editing the outlines first before starting a full draft was a good idea.

A few of the shorter chapters will be merged together (8 & 9, 12 & 13, 14 & 15, 24-26, 32 & 33), which should help bring the average chapter length closer to the normal 3000 words/per chapter.

The biggest issue is that the prose isn’t all that great yet and a lot of descriptions of people and actions come off very bullet-pointy, which makes sense since this was just the third draft of the book and I was still re-arranging and adding/removing chapters in the draft I sent out. Now that I’m confident the structure of the book is good I can focus on making the prose nice!

There are 3 chapters where the logic doesn’t quite make sense so I’ll have to do some re-plotting of those. But 3 chapters needing serious reworks out of 39 is a pretty good ratio! Also, knowing that the before/after parts surrounding those chapters are good makes it easier to fix them since I know where they have to start and end.

Next steps:

  1. I’ve got a video chat with my editor on Monday to go over all the details and brainstorm fixes
  2. I’m still waiting for my beta readers to finish up reading the book and give me feedback, which will probably happen around May
  3. I’ve started working on the outline for the sequel, The Unsettled Compromise, so I’ll probably finish up at least a first draft of that before I dive back in to fix The Gray Shift
  4. I’ll do at least 3 more revisions on The Gray Shift to fix the prose and logic issues. At that point I’ll probably send it back out for a final edit.
  5. I’m not going to commit to a specific timeline, but I’d say there’s about 3-4 months of work left to finish it, which means publishing it this year is definitely possible. I may decide to sit on it for a while though so I can release it closer to the sequel. That’s all TBD still.

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