Skip to content

Category: Editing

It Is Finished!

As a present to myself on my 44th birthday, I threw 10 hours into finally finishing off this beast!

I launch on Amazon February 1st! That will be enough time to get copies out to beta readers and reviewers. Then I’ll have time for one last pass before it all goes live.

Pray for me!

Le Gasp. Le Pant.

It has been a doozy of a few days. I have hit the editing hard. I now know that I can produce one book every three months. That is a break-neck pace, but it’s doable. I know how I just said that I would be doing six edit passes for every book. Nah nah nah. I’ll be doing about six, at two weeks per pass. We have a tight schedule. I will lean heavily on my beta readers to find additional problems. And with print-on-demand and the Kindle version, I can upload a new edit at any time.

Additionally, I have finally finally finally finished numbering all the chapters. Some were too long and others were too short. Now the average length is twenty-seven pages. There are nineteen chapters. Whew! It was a hard push. Now I can see the goalpost.

I can cover about one and a third chapters per day. Sometimes I can cover more. Nineteen divided by one point three is fourteen (and change). That means every edit will take about two weeks.

I have read that a typical book goes through fifteen revisions and takes years to complete. Years? If the average book brings in between $100 and $200 per month, that just sounds like a phenomenal waste of time. That won’t fit into my plan.

And now the end is in sight! I’m on seventeen of nineteen. That means in one to two days, I’ll be finished! Next, it’s off to beta readers! Then, I will do a tombstone edit integrating all of their changes, run the thing through Hemingway and Grammarly, and then publish!

January’s shaping up to be pretty cool. Praise to God!

Eight-Pass Editing Marathon

It was Mr. Smarty-pants himself, Albert Einstein, who said it:

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.”
-Albert Einstein

This is true of many, many things. The more I know, the more things this applies to.

It is for this reason that I try to keep an open mind about almost everything. If I learn about a better way to do things, I change up my behavior.

This is true of editing. I self-edit all of my manuscripts, along with a little help from my friends (Beta Readers and Team Typo).

This is in EIGHT passes. I am documenting my passes here for any writers who want some learnin’ on editing. Take it or leave it.

  1. Clean-up. This is my first pass after my rough draft is finished. Since I dictate my manuscript (using Dragon), there are lots of silly mistakes that make it through. I also notice other silly mistakes when my words are in print. This is a shallow edit. This is an edit that a developmental editor would create. I can change character identities, plot points, or muck about with story. If my book were a clay sculpture, I would have lots of mud under my nails at this point.
  2. JK Rowling. An early reviewer said that I was a combination of JK Rowling, HG Wells, and CS Lewis. This is very high praise. I have embraced this review as an easy way to describe what my writing is like. Additionally, I have seized upon these authors as phases in my editing. In my JK Rowling pass, I am concentrating on adding magic, adventure, and wonder.
  3. HG Wells. In this pass, I am focused on adding high-technology.
  4. CS Lewis. During this edit, I am adding religious themes and symbolism.
  5. Hemingway. I was recently directed to the Hemingway application
    online. Although there is a paid version, I currently use the free version. That might change when I start making some real money with my writing. This app makes sure you are using short sentences and active writing. These keeps you from being too wordy or using big words.
  6. Grammarly. My next destination is the Grammarly application. This looks at spelling and grammar (as the name implies). This performs better than what you will find in Word or other word-processors. You could use this app earlier in the editing process, but the other steps might call for major changes to the manuscript.
  7. Beta Readers, Reviewers, and Team Typo. At this point, the manuscript is pretty close to launch. It can be distributed to Beta Readers, Team Typo, and Review Ravagers. If I get important feedback at this stage, I put it into the manuscript.
  8. Tombstone Edit. I have been away from the story for a couple weeks now. I can go back into it with fresh eyes. This is my last pass before prime time. At this point, I will see if the submitted changes are working with the manuscript as a whole.

Team Typo

Consider joining Team Typo. I have a special soft place in my heart for our legion of elves. These folks receive a free early edition of my next book in exchange for a Typo Report. This can be a marked-up paper copy (I’ll pay the postage!). For those reading on Kindle, the easiest way to mark typos is to bookmark each location and highlight the typo.

More information can be found on the Team Typo page!