Zanzibar’s Rings – now editing

zanzibars rings draft cover

Zanzibar’s Rings has reached the stage of editing. This process is likely to take some time…

My process

First I read through and made immediate changes to typos, wrong words, and marked where I felt I had a potential continuity error. I also added notes about checking the science (there is some!), and a few other technical issues. If you read my blog regularly you’ll have heard about these, probably in my IWSG posts.

The next stage is to go through line by line and think of how the sentence works, how the scene works, and whether my Point of View is correct. I’m finding that difficult, particularly when I’m in third person POV for Pete, say, then he starts thinking or calculating his way out of a problem. I’m trying to treat it as unvoiced speech, but it looks odd.

I’m also making more notes on bits of plot that seem to contradict each other, or where I’ve started with one intention, then not carried it through. I’ll have to come back and rewrite bits later once I’ve decided what really happens. For now I’m trying to make it reasonably good.

After this run through, I’ll ponder the plot points that need untangling, and do anything I’ve told myself I have to do/decide before I go further. I know the timeline, and whether my current flow of scenes works, are part of that.

Next version

When I think I’ve got it in shape, I’ll write anything that’s missing, and cut things that don’t work (I’ll save them as an older draft and create the next file version).

Then the biggie… going through with a bit of computer help to find all my favourite words that I overuse, and all the trigger and filter words that need to be worked on. There’s quite a long list, but experience helps, and the computer finds every occurrence of them.

Then I’ll do another read through, probably out loud–someone gets the computer to read it for her, which sounds amazing and I might try that instead. That’ll pick up more wrong words, typos, run-on sentences, and things that just don’t sound right.

And after that, it should be ready for my beta readers….

And what I’d really like to do now is work on the cover, as I have to get a banner made for September. Watch for news of why!

I’ve finished writing Zanzibar’s Rings! #viridianseries

zanzibars rings draft cover

Finishing a book is a great feeling, so why was I so sad last night?  Well, I’ve written the last Viridian System book, and have to say goodbye to many people I like.

I’ve been fairly useless in the real world for the past week, I was so immersed in the world of my imagination.

First draft of Zanzibar’s Rings

zanzibars rings draft cover
Draft cover

This of course is just the first draft.  It is covered with notes to myself, whether the need to check (with the text written already, or with someone knowledgeable). There are several plot points that haven’t made their way in. Some names may be changed. There are places more description is needed. And apart from going through with the spellchecker, I need to go through looking for typos, including names inconsistently spelled, and my favourite over-used or wrongly used words. Plus generally just improve it; tighten up scenes, clarify some things I’ve done too cryptically. It’s currently just over 88k words. I expect it will finish up at around 84k or so.

I’ll set it aside for a month or so, to come at it fresh, and hope to work on it enough so that my beta readers have a copy to comment on by late summer.

At present I’m working on a target publication date of 22nd February 2022.

Pre-order already!

I’ve registered the ebook as a pre-order with Amazon, iTunes, B&N and Kobobooks. It’s listed as $2.99 but that might change (up or down). The date might change, too.

Here’s how the blurb looks now. It’ll be improved, and extended, as we near publication.

A Galactic crisis: the entire comms system destroyed. No waypoints, no navigation aids, no database access… and how will spaceships in flight get home–or to any destination? Dolores is stuck in warp with a very dangerous passenger, Pete gets his shuttle back home on manual. But how come anything in close contact with pure orichalcum fixes itself? Just flying through Zanzibar’s Rings solves the problem–as the Federation’s fighters find, as they descend on the Viridian System to take possession of the planets.

Zanzibar’s Rings by Jemima Pett, expected 22 Feb 2022

Beta readers wanted

I’m always happy to hear from people who have read the previous books and would like to be considered as beta readers.

Beta readers have to pick holes in the plot, spot inconsistencies in the story, generally give a reader’s view in the sort of nice way that doesn’t send me into the depths of despair, and get your responses to me in the right timeframe.

Just leave a comment to if you’re willing below, and I’ll pick your email address up from the system.

Earthrise – with season’s greetings!



It was fifty years ago that we saw this picture for the first time.


I remember looking at it with awe.  Seeing the Earth, our home, the place I walked on, how others would see it if they were flying into our solar system.

That feeling of awe stays with me even now.

It’s probably why I write science fiction.

Which is why I’m working on my final version of Curved Space to Corsair, back from my wonderful editor, and ready to go public once I’ve done all my final checks and corrections.

Two weeks till the finished version is due at Smashwords, three till it has to be at KDP, and both will give it a launch on 22nd January.

Good thing the next lot of family visits aren’t for another week!

Season’s greetings, everyone, and very best wishes for 2019.


The Perihelix and my other ebooks will be either HALF PRICE or FREE between 25th December and 1st January in Smashwords annual sale.

Editing Progress

automated sugarcane harvesting

Progress is definitely being made, ever since my editor revealed she would be over-busy in December.  I’m desperately hoping to get the finished ‘final’ version to her by the end of this week.  Nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

I’ve taken two chapters out of the book, and the progress bar on the right hand side of this page shows you how I’m doing.  It’s pretty good, but what’s hidden is a whole new storyline of events on the planet Corsair.  I need to write it from scratch.  I’ve adapted early parts so that the backstory is tucked into reminiscences or other suitable points, and it’s been useful reading other people’s books: I’ve taken a great interest in how they fit in backstory.

automated sugarcane harvestingSo, the next task for me is to tackle the main change in the action on the planet, which starts with Colin Trescothick peering over a rocky outcrop at the family of harvesters below.  Well, at least I know what’s going on…

Picture is royalty-free from Shutterstock.


Corsair postponed to January 2019


Curved Space to Corsair is now scheduled for 20th January 2019.  Apologies for anyone who’s itching to buy it.

I’ve been rewriting the start of the manuscript following my editor’s feedback.  As usual with my books, I’ve set the scene, given you a chance to get to know the characters – all the things that used to be good advice.

That doesn’t work these days.  I have to hit you from the start.  I’m working out how to get necessary bits of background in, trying them out, rethinking it.  There’s a bit of business that I cut from the revised Perihelix that I still wanted to use in Corsair, but that’s come out of the first couple of chapters too, and I need to get it in seamlessly in time for the important part of it to emerge.

Once I finish this bit of the edit, I’ll have to go through with a checklist to make sure that everything is included that needs to be included, and that any loose ends are not left dangling if they are no longer needed.

Then I can finish off the other improvements later in the manuscript, and get it back to my editor for approval!

And at present I’ve taken nearly 6000 words off the front end of the book.  That still leaves it coming in around 85,000 though.

Meanwhile, I see another scifi series called Corsair has hit the shelves. Maybe I’ll review it when I’ve finished the third book.

#amediting update – Corsair (Viridian System 2)

Jemima at Camp Nanowrimo

Jemima at Camp NanowrimoExciting news: I’ve finished editing Curved Space to Corsair!

It comes in at around 88,000 words and 260 pages, which will take it to nearly 90,000 when I’ve added front and back matter, like titles, acknowledgements, bio and other titles.  That seems good to me.

It’s now off to its external editor to see what she makes of it.

While I hope she likes it, it’s more about picking holes in it, correcting any unintelligible sentences that I’ve left in, spotting typos and missing words, and a general feedback on the story, plot, characterisation and flow.  That editor really earns all the money I’m sending her!

Then I’ll make the corrections and get it ready to publish. Unless she says there’s a huge amount of work to be done on it.

The cover reveal!

Corsair draftMeanwhile, Dani has completed the cover device.  I just need to place it more accurately within the title.  That really means I adjust the kerning and placement of the word Corsair, as the rest seems okay.  And maybe I’ll move Viridium from behind the dragonfly’s head, or maybe not.

Yes – a dragonfly is significant in this story!

Maybe we’ll hit the current scheduled date of 1st November, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I need to put it back a little.

Watch this space!

You can pre-order Curved Space to Corsair at iTunes, B&N and Kobo.  See the links for the whole series on the book page here.

News of the books

camp nano 2018

Just a quickie to tell you that the Perihelix is one of the books being offered FREE for the first 50 people to download it in Smashwords’ Summer/Winter Sale running throughout July.  Click here from 1st July onwards.

Secondly, I’m off to Camp NaNoWriMo to concentrate on editing Curved Space to Corsair so I can send it to my editor. I’ll probably be updating the status bar on the bottom left of this page to show you how I’m doing.  Fingers crossed we’ll get it ready to come out during the winter.

The Perihelix is now in beta

The Perihelix has been overhauled and various parts of it rewritten over the last six months, with a big push during Camp NaNoWriMo this month.

The main changes have been

  • a revision of the plotline that gets them off on their quest
  • consequent amendments to text and dialogue (and I need to update the blurbs around the websites and buying sites, too)
  • focus on points of view, i.e. considering exactly who is narrating a scene, and ensuring it is shown from only their perspective.  This has been hard, especially when dealing with Pete & the Swede doing something together, or wanting to show what each person present is feeling or thinking.
  • consider Voice – how does each character speak, and how does their perspective reflect their unique personality.  That sometimes leads into
  • show don’t tell.  I tend to tell, but need to do more show – I find I tend to use dialogue to avoid telling. I have been working on showing in descriptive parts, too.

So I hope it’s now much better.

It’s ready for my beta readers, so if you’d like a copy in Word, let me know.

Perihelix Progress

perihelix_ed2I’ve completed the edit of my revisions to the Perihelix and sent it to my editor.

I’ve rewritten the first chapter, changing the start substantially (and will mean a lot of edits  to book 2 to take out reference/consequences of that), and introducing Dolores, Maggie and Aramintha more thoroughly, although I always intend them to have somewhat mysterious pasts. I’ve also made it slightly clearer (I hope) which direction the travels take them, but working in 3D space means that the reader either needs to imagine it more, or just accept that there’s a long way between places.  I must admit, I’ve never been concerned about the relationship of different planetary systems to each other in Star Trek or Star Wars.

Now to see what my new editor makes of it.

July has flown by

Well, that’s what happens when you go to Summer Camp.

I’ve been at Camp NaNoWriMo again, but this time working on my older children’s fantasy series, The Princelings of the East.  I started that as a trilogy, thought it would finish at book 8, and is now set to finish at book 10, since I’ve completed the first drafts of books 7 and 8 at Camp. Well, 8 needs a few more days…

So where does this leave the Viridian series?

My next project is to thoroughly edit my revised Perihelix and send it to my editor.  Because of the workload I now have one in the UK for the Viridian series and my original US editor for the Princelings series.  I hope that will work well.  Once Perihelix has gone I can work on the second draft of Curved Space to Corsair.  Nobody commented on that title, so I hope it works. There isn’t another book called that, anyway.

While I’ve been at Camp there have been some character interviews on my blog.  You can check them here:

The other thing I have to do is fix the problem with my mailing list.  You’ll know when I’ve done it 🙂