There have been a number of changes to the business in the last few months including a major change to the book. At this point in time, “Stefan’s Owl from Oblivion” is approaching 657,000 words. There has been a large pushback from various sources to divide up the book. I have a professional edit sitting in the queue to be edited into the book, and that professional edit was sort of the last element that pushed me over the edge. The editing agency has a length limit for what they will edit and it is a bit less than the book’s length. So I had to scissor out of the book a meaningful length that could actually allow the editor to get an accurate feel for the structure and writing of the book. The professional editor ended up editing 287,000 words approximately.
They could have edited more but there is a certain risk and some inefficiency in doing a larger edit. The larger the edit, the more risk you take on because you never know what editor you may get and if they turn out to be a bad one, then you have wasted an enormous amount of money if the edit is a long one. There is a certain inefficiency as well because if you get a good editor (and I did this time) they may point out some systemic problems the manuscript has. So even before applying the sentence level changes, there is a change in the way of handling internal thoughts and telepathy that the editor has suggested.
The editor told me they felt like they were being “beat to death” by dialog tags. I already use different fonts for telepathy. The editor told me that 50% of the book happens in people’s heads. So if I simply use a different font for the thoughts, I could eliminate many of the dialog tags. The font change does the work and allows the use of much fewer tags. They also established the convention that thoughts should not appear in quotes. Only things spoken aloud should be quoted. This is a systemic change and once the editor had sold me on the change, then the change can be applied to the rest of novel… the unedited parts.
This led to another related change. The Sun God characters exchange information between their minds and between their minds and the Sun God hive data systems in a way similar to people exchanging texts and video clips. Unlike telepathy, it does not transmit feelings. It is similar to a digital communication. The Sun Gods were originally beings comprised totally of energy, so it made sense to have this form of communication. However, the Sun God teens in the story are a mix of flesh and energy, largely appearing to be humans. But they still use this form of digital-like communication, called Sun-net, to stealthily communicate with each other and the enormous hive data systems, which actually records each Sun God’s life in complete detail. Any Sun God can do a query and view an episode of another Sun God’s life from within their own mind.
The Sun God communication represents another form of thought. I decided the font for Sun God Sun-net messages needed to be a font that represents their unique form of digital communication. I wanted a font that would mentally queue and remind that the communication is digital, with all its limits. In the image topping this article, you see an example of the font I chose. I hope it reminds the reader of digital plus Sun God unique communication.
This brings me to the big change I made in the novel. I have decided to split the novel into a series of seven novels. The original novel was destined to become even longer because I felt that the last chapters of the novel were weak. The split allows each novel in the series to be close to the mainstream publishing word count of 70,000 – 110,000 words.
Owner of the Children of Sophista Publishing and currently the author of books in the Children of Sophista universe.