“Of the Night” (An Update)

In the past two weeks, Of the Night has undergone some impressive tweaking. I’ve been on a roll, seeing the novel from new perspectives and making subtle but important adjustments. It’s uncanny…all at once I spot connections that weren’t there previously, I swear. Suddenly they’re glaringly obvious. Uncanny? Hell, sometimes it’s downright creepy.

I’m getting very, very close to the “Sherron Draft”.

This means the book is nearly done, right on the verge. In need of one final run through by someone who knows my work intimately. Sherron’s been my sole editor for as long as I’ve been a professional writer (and maybe even a bit before). She knows what my aspirations are, what I’m shooting for aesthetically. She’s a terrific reader, the kind who laughs out loud at funny bits or moans when she suspects something bad is about to happen. She has a sophisticated and well-rounded love of books and reads whenever she has a spare moment.

She’s a spell-checker and proof-reader and a demanding and opinionated fan of my work. When she doesn’t like something, she says so and she’s usually right. Well, okay, almost always…

I’m not an easy person to edit: I grumble over critical remarks and suggestions, sometimes walk away in a funk…but if the changes improve the story, they go in and that’s that. Creative writing types talk about “killing your babies”, throwing out your favorite lines if they don’t fit the story. When I edit, I’m absolutely ruthless, no flashy flourishes or stylistic showing off allowed. Everything in service to the story; a motto I live by.

Should have Of the Night posted here mid-August so keep that in mind.

I deliver my “Sherron Draft” late next week, close to our anniversary, as a matter of fact. Eighteen years I’ve been married to the finest person I’ve ever known.  Ain’t that something? Ain’t I the luckiest guy alive?

6 comments

  1. jamesviscosi

    Congratulations! It’s good to have a live-in editor. My wife has never read any of my books because she doesn’t “do” horror. She’s finally reading Dragon Stones and picking up typos and stuff that I didn’t catch even after reading it through four or five times; eventually your mind starts filling in missing words and seeing what’s supposed to be there even when it’s not.

    Unfortunately Dragon Stones went to distribution like two months ago. But, better late than never …

  2. shannonyarbrough

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone. I do the same thing. I type type type type…then print it all out and pick up a pen and start scribbling all over the hard copy.

    Best of luck!

  3. Carrie

    Hi Cliff,
    I wanted to post here and tell you that I have about 20 pages left of “kept.” Its SICK! And I mean that both complimentary and as in disgusting! I love it! I can’t wait to finish reading it. If I didn’t have to deal with my domestic issues then this book would not have been put down until I was finished. I cannot wait to finish it. I will post again when I do. AWESOME! Oh and I loved “Living with The Foleys” too. Great story!

  4. 1979semifinalist

    It’s wonderful to have a brilliant partner that knows what they’re talking about when it comes to your work isn’t it? I never get more excited about my projects than when Adam (dudehesthestallion) indulges me in a long drawn out conversation about my work. I hope I sometimes provide the same for him, but I doubt I’m as good at it as he is.

    We’re very lucky people you and me.

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