It’s a very strange thing, to go from spending several years working non-stop on a project, every free moment, to not having anything to do while you wait for the next step in the publishing process.
Ok, so maybe I didn’t work every free moment, but when I wasn’t working on the project, at least I felt guilty for not working on it. Sometimes even antsy when I couldn’t work on it. There was either research or writing to do, and after I finished the draft, there was editing to do. Now I expect to stay up late typing, but I can go to bed if I want. Feels like I’m cheating. So I’m typing this.
Truthfully, I should be running through another round of editing, but I’m forcing myself to step away from the work for a little while. Seems like a good idea, but it could just be laziness. My next step is to read the book aloud and record it, to see if I can pick out other things that need to be changed.
Hopefully I’ll start hearing from some of my beta-readers soon. So far I’ve only had one person read it through. Rave reviews, and he wants to read it again. I’m very grateful. He caught a big goof for me. I also sent it to some of the brilliant scholarly folks that I have been pestering with research questions for several years. One was tough to send to, because I knew he was going to be immediately put off by the fact that I made the grave error of using Anno Domini dating instead of Consular dating, which was actually used in the Fifth Century. And let’s not even get started on my use of later names for characters, rather than the original Old Welsh names. (By the way, if you have questions about anything, such as Consular dating, please feel free to leave a comment! I’ll get back to you pretty quick.)
In my defense, as I told him, trying to explain Welsh pronunciation to unfamiliar readers would be a tough distraction from the story line. The names I used already have the potential to slow down the read for many people. If I was going to be a purist, the main character would have been named “Gwalchmai” instead of “Gawain”. And while nearly everyone would understand 469 A.D., how many readers would have the slightest idea of the year the story is set in if I had said “The Year of the First Consulship of Flavius Marcianus“?
Being exactingly true to history can be painful and turn off readers who don’t want to have to spend four years learning everything I have studied in order to have a good understanding. Some of the folks I have been learning from have been studying for many years and they often disagree. Only a few of the named characters are vital to the actual history, so I am going with the idea that the names are translations, in the same way that I am not writing the book in Late Brittonic.
Let’s hope I have been able to strike a happy balance.