Editing, Feedback from Beta Readers and a Radical Alteration to the Ending of In The Flesh

I’ve made it through three full edits of In The Flesh since last I wrote.  The mechanical edit where I checked for spelling, grammar and syntax errors.  Two minor edits where I checked for particular consistency issues and now I’m on the final major edit.  This edit is where I flesh out (pardon the pun) the character interactions and really give the framework I’ve already created life.

I got great feedback from two of my beta readers and as a result I’ve radically changed the ending.  It was, as one beta reader pointed out, unbalanced in comparison with the rest of the novel.  Now I feel it is stronger and better balanced.   My beta readers have given me excellent feedback with real suggestions as to what could be improved.  I am very thankful for them.

Editing has fallen into a bit of a pattern for me.  I edit four or five chapters in the evening and then the next day I go over those chapters in the morning to make sure I like the edits.  I check for mechanical correctness and for continuity with the rest of the story.  There are also some things I don’t want to give away too soon in my attempts to make the characters more engaging.  Then once that’s done, usually by the afternoon, I go on to editing the next few chapters.

This process is taking quite a bit more time than I had anticipated it would but I am pleased with the results.  The narrative is stronger and more engaging.  I am still confident I will make a March release date.  K.

Preliminary Feedback On In The Flesh

I’ve received feedback from two other beta readers. One said, and I quote (with permission): Oh for crap sake!!! You BETTER be working on a SEQUEL!!

Also from what I’m hearing I’m moving otherwise gentle souls to cussing when people hit the end of the book. And yet, when I ask if I should extend or change the ending they universally tell me to leave it as it is. Just get to work on that sequel. Which is funny because I planned that ending from day 1 and I never planned a sequel.

I only just started seriously thinking about a sequel in the past couple of weeks when I started having ideas for one. I don’t much care for planned trilogies because all too often they have one idea and artificially stretch it out to encompass more books than the idea merits. I never want to be guilty of that.

The cover art is nearly complete and it’s fantastic. I showed it to one of my beta readers and she was completely blown away. She said it looked exactly like she imagined it. Plus it’s just beautiful. The artist I know is so talented. I can hardly wait until I’ve paid for it and can rightfully change out the header for this page to reflect the new artwork.

It is very exciting and emotional to see your vision come to life in the cover of a book. There is something very visceral about it. I put all of the work and sweat and a lot of myself into writing In The Flesh and to see someone else pour their talent into making an image from my story come to life is a wonderful experience.