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November 2015



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Research - Tea and Books

How Revisions are like a Sewing Project

Deeply enmeshed in revisions right now, Gentle Reader. I've discussed this before but I'm one of those writers who actually enjoys editing. However, I am on a tight turn around with this pass and I am also one of those writers who hates missing deadlines. So, my apologies for being scarce online of late.

I've been formulating an extended metaphor for how writing a novel is like sewing a dress, it goes something like this . . .

If a muslin mock-up is like an outline, then putting the rough draft together is like sewing the dress pieces into a cohesive whole. Then first draft revisions is when you are taking apart seams and fixing your mistakes. After the editor has looked at it second time, then it's all about tailoring. After that you can add the finishing touches like ruffles and descriptions, check your seams (fact checking and continuity) and put on buttons. Then it's a nice ironing (copyedits). And ta da! A finished garment. Or manuscript.

I'm getting a little confused here, ah, extended metaphors.

Right now, however, with this book, I'm back to picking apart seams. I sewed it together using entirely the wrong thread, shall we say?

My favorite part, is the tailoring phase, but that's looking like it won't come until the second set of revisions. Still, I don't mind what I'm doing now, it's just more work than I thought. I had set up my sewing room for tailing, as it were, when I find out I'm redoing all the seams instead.

The best part of any dress is putting together the outfit at the end. Adding accessories such as cover art, back cover copy, blurbs, author bio and so forth. That's what you all, the readers, get to see. In that way writing a book is exactly like making a dress, we are all walking around hopefully you won't look too closely at the seams!

Metaphor for the win!

In other news, I'm still finding time to tweet so if you follow me on Facebook or Twitter there are some updates there. I am slow to respond to comments though. Sorry about that.


Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Chairs hangers

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
7 POV Basics
I should note that in Soulless, because I was working a parody of victorian literature I did not obey these rules. I was practicing the oft objectionable head hoping. I don't mind it as much as the modern reader, I blame too many Dickens novels. But there it is. And the book sold anyway. Just be careful when you do it and be aware of it.

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Rough draft. Release date Fall 2013. Got peeps floating, about to land in the Maltese Tower but have had to pause to do edits on D&D.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Working promo schemes.
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Revising now, building up word count before I chop it down.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Reviewing chapter by chapter, each drops on YenPlus by subscription. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.

BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
I'm interviewing Lilith Saintcrow on the Orbit bog.

Quote of the Day:
"Books have to be read (worse luck it takes so long a time). It is the only way of discovering what they contain. A few savage tribes eat them, but reading is the only method of assimilation revealed to the West."
~ E.M. Forster

Daisypath Wedding tickers


I use this kind of metaphor, but with drawing a picture. Sketch/ink/colour/shade etc. since I have always been more experienced with making that kind of art than sewing.

I'm so glad someone else uses a metaphor for creating visual art to explain writing, though. That's really heartening. <3
I tend to think visually no matter what. And, thank you!
I've missed sartorial metaphors, thank you for that.
Don't know how you manage to work on several books at once. I know from (not too dissimilar experience) that it can provide a nice break from both but I find it too frustrating when I can only move at about half my actual pace because I've got two things going at once.
My pleasure. I might have had a bit too much fun with it.

Lady Maccon

Hi, I just started reading your books this year - the Parasol Protectorate ones. I'm on the fourth one now, Heartless, and loving it. Just a question - is this series going to be filmed? I'd love to see Miranda Hart as Alexia - maybe it's just me but I think she'd be smashing. I'm glad I found my way into your writing - thank you!

Re: Lady Maccon

Please see FAQ #14. http://www.gailcarriger.com/faq.php Plus multiple posts in this blog and on the facebook fan group.

Re: Lady Maccon

Ok, thanks. I don't really hang on facebook so I'll wait and see then.