Well, for me it’s a frenzy. I edited Zack and Larry before submitting it for publication (of course), and went directly from that to editing both Seidhman and Murderous Requiem, at the same time.
Murderous Requiem is, frankly, still a bit of a mess. Since it’s only half done, and I’d written that half during NaNoWriMo, the quality of this first draft was…rough. Very rough. Was it good? Well…parts of it were. The rewrite helped. But it will still require a lot of rewriting, when it’s finished. I got through the chapters I’d written, and now I’m plowing ahead with the rest of it. So far, the requiem isn’t very murderous. At about halfway through, we have yet to have anything happen, apart from ominous foreshadowing. It’s still entertaining, but the interest comes from the relationships our hero has with the other characters, and his rediscovering of a life he thought he’d left behind.
Seidhman, on the other hand, is getting close to the point where I’ll start sending it out. My friend, Roxanne, handed a copy of the manuscript back to me with copious notes scribbled in the margins — good notes, for the most part, since she knows her history and is a writer, herself. I don’t agree with everything she says (of course), and sometimes decyphering exactly what she’s saying can be a challenge, since her handwriting is…interesting. But a lot of it’s worth considering. So I’m about halfway through the manuscript now, using her notes as a guide.
A friend of a friend, who lives in Norway, gave the manuscript a read and said she loved it, and found it to have a very Scandinavian feel to it, which was tremendously encouraging. She gave me some notes, as well, but they were mostly minor details, except for some matters of “You can’t get there from here,” which I’ll have to take into account. When you don’t live in an area, you often don’t realize that what looks like a simple route on a map has a towering cliff or a raging river that you can’t cross, forcing you to pick a different route.
I also have a reader in Iceland going over the story, and since she’s an Icelandic historian, that’s nerve-wracking. Hopefully, she won’t come back with, “Foolish American! Don’t ever write anything about my country again!”
So, I’m about halfway through the current draft and it’s getting pretty polished. Depending upon what the woman from Iceland tells me, I will hopefully be able to have a final draft done by spring. Then I have to make decisions about whether to send it to a publisher or to an agent. An agent is preferrable, but these days they appear to demand that you already be published, before they’ll look at your work. I also know of some publishers who might be good fits for the story. But those are small press. And considering how much of myself I’ve invested in this particular novel, I might want to aim at the bigger houses, to begin with.
In the meantime, I’m still fretting about Zack and Larry. I should probably do a final draft of my still-untitled cyberpunk story, so I can have something else ready to put out there. In the event Zack and Larry gets rejected, I’ll at least have something else to pin my hopes on.