Hooray for having a blogging schedule again! Since I’m ramping up to share Lexie (preorder now), I’m dusting off the ol’ blog and trying to be a bit more active about blabbing here. Last week, I talked about my love for planning, Scrivener, and how unpredictable my drafting process is. This week, part dos – the sharing.
Disclaimer: Your mileage may vary
Every author has that one thing they’re good at, and for me, it’s plotting. Generally, then, I don’t employ a content editor to help me, because I am my own content editor. But what I do have is a bevvy of beta readers.
Beta readers are the first bubbas who get to read my work when it’s fresh out of my keyboard. I try to put it into something readable (begging forgiveness for major typos and issues) and fire it off, chewing my fingers nervously. Of course, I love it, but will they?
There’ve been a few times when I’ve disagreed with betas, and then saw those same criticisms in my reviews. But at the same time, I also get feedback from betas who absolutely love what I’ve got and have no edits other than general flailing. So basically, reading is subjective, nobody’s right, nobody’s wrong. The best that you can do is try to tweak and adjust as necessary to resolve their problems, and move forward knowing you’ve got the best product.
This is the point in our program where I am reminded just how much I need an editor. For the past few projects, I’ve used the incredible Danielle Fine. She’s a master editor, patient, thorough, and just wonderful to work with. Highly, highly recommended.
What happens in this stage is I send along a word .doc to Dani and chew my fingers for a few weeks. Then I get back a big fat .doc back and hold my breath to see what the damage is. Usually, my MS come back with 4-6k comments.
Yes, you read that right.
They are a mixture of contractions, missed commas, some major comments about characterization, and the occasional smiley face when I happen to turn a phrase well.
As much as I love Dani, this is my least favorite part of the process because it’s so damned tedious. But once it’s done, I get to the BEST part which is…
Getting a big, fat proof in the mail! Generally, for these, I do an unboxing video, squeal for a second, then get to work figuring out what’s wrong with it. Most drafts have about 3-4 edits per chapter, although I was making giant-ass plot changes in the final proof of Conviction because that book was a pain in my ass.
This is also the chance for me to see what the cover looks like printed and make some tweaks to it.
The final stage. In my first few books, I would order another proof and finalize it then. Now, I have a couple trusted super!grammarians who get an advanced-advanced copy of the book and sniff out typos. That, plus Apple’s Text-to-Speech function catches most, if not all, of the typos.
And presto! book finished.
LOL, Not really
Writing the book is probably the easiest part of publishing. There’s the promotion, the advanced copy distribution, praying that people you gave copies to will review them, there’s the writing of the blog posts (which I’ve let fall by the wayside).
But that’s for another blog series.