Friday, February 02, 2007

How Much Editing Do These Books Receive?

I don't do a lot of posting about pre-publication Harry Potter excitement because mostly what I feel is dread--I'm not crazy about the books but feel I have to read them. I can't recall reading any other books that make me think so much about how heavy they are, and the prospect of having to hold up another one of these things with my arthritic limbs while reading on and on and on does not hold a lot of joy for me. But I saw this today at, and it did raise a question or two in my mind.

Rowling says she finished writing Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows on January 11th, which has been confirmed by her spokeswoman. What exactly does that mean? Did she finish the first draft? Did she finish a later draft after working with an editor on some earlier ones?

At her website she has a journal entry for December 19th that says, "I'm now writing scenes that have been planned, in some cases, for a dozen years or even more." That sounds to me as if she was working on an original draft only a few weeks before the date she finished writing the book.

My point is, the book is coming out in July. What with everything that goes into publishing a book, that's not a lot of lead-in time. What kind of editorial work will be done on this book? I'm sure Bloomsbury will put all its resources behind this thing, that no one will be working on anything else. But, still, it would be interesting to hear about the editing process for the last Harry Potter.

Or any of them, for that matter.



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