Structures and Developments

Earlier this week I sent the manuscript of Seven Deadly Swords to my editor at Grimbold. This is after a fairly hefty restructure and rewrite after the structural/developmental edit.

It’s been to beta readers and they all had good comments but it seems like after extensive electronic scissors and pots of glue, moving chapters around, completely rewriting one character and snipping 20,000 words (and writing a new 10,000) I managed to not introduce any plot holes. Which is a major relief!

Seven Deadly Swords was mostly written in 2013/14 when I was just learning the craft. It showed. It had a hefty rewrite after an editorial going over by the fabulous Joanne Hall (Hi Jo!). Then went into submissions. I got a few interested bites from agents, including one request for a rewrite/resubmission and it was rewritten again.

Then Grimbold agreed to take it, on the proviso that I change the tense. That was a faff, but not a strong rewrite.

Now it’s had another rewrite – and the line edits are to come, so further changes afoot.

I strongly suspect that some of this process of rewriting would have been avoided if I’d planned the book better. I’m an exploration writer (or pantser if you like that term) but plan as I go along. That’s also how I wrote Sick City Syndrome.

I’m going to plan the next piece of writing with much care, and see if that makes a difference…

Still it’s nice to see Seven Deadly Swords inching closer to publication…

Published by suttope

Pete W Sutton is a writer and editor. His two short story collections – A Tiding of Magpies and The Museum for Forgetting – were shortlisted for Best Collection in the British Fantasy Awards in 2017 & 2022 respectively. His novel – Seven Deadly Swords – was published by Grimbold Books. He has edited several short story anthologies and is the editor for the British Fantasy Society Horizons fiction magazine.

3 thoughts on “Structures and Developments

  1. Pete, I love your description of yourself as a “pantser” – it made me laugh! I gather this is very much the way things go with publishers, and it’s certainly happened with me as a self-publisher. I too have an early novel, which I put aside for a long time, but now have an idea of how it fits into the universe I write in – which it didn’t before. Often it’s good to do that, and see what thoughts percolate through.


  2. Not a term I actually agree with – pantser (seat of the pants) implies to me a lack of intentionality whereas I’m a minimalist when it comes to planning, there is still a plan… putting work aside for a period then revisiting is a tried and tested method of getting the best from a piece 🙂


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