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.

Editing, Scrivner and Backing Up Your Work

The word for today is edit. I’m in the midst of the first of two editing passes I have to make. This one is for mechanics like spelling, punctuation, grammar and the like. This one is difficult because I have to focus on the details and try not to read the story so I don’t miss something by reading what should be there instead of what is there. It is a task that requires discipline because it is not part of the creative process which I enjoy so much. It is, in a word, tedious.

The next editing pass is much more enjoyable because this is the one during which I actually read the book and make changes based upon story flow, word choice and continuity. This is fun because I can never read something I’ve written without tweaking it a bit. Also I haven’t even looked at parts of this manuscript in months. That gives me a fresh take on things because they’ve been out of my mind for a while.

At the end of the day I had gotten eight chapters edited for mechanics and a couple of little content edits because I couldn’t help myself. I’m using an awesome software package called Scrivner from the fine folks at Literature and Latte to do my work. It’s not that pricy and it’s fantastic for writing. I did have one small issue of my own making while editing yesterday. I accidentally moved a chapter. I was looking at a layout of the chapters and I’m using a laptop and the buttons are always jumpy on laptops it seems. This moved a chapter. I had a moment of panic then I realized how easy it is to reorganize a book in Scrivner. It took me a couple minutes to double check the proper order for all of the chapters, then no time at all to make it right. Thankfully I had a saved copy in a word document to check against.

I cannot stress it enough to have a back up of your work, preferably on another computer or flash drive or the Cloud, somewhere. As you may know my laptop died, like really gave it up just after Christmas. It would have been a disaster except I had backed up my manuscript just the day before that happened.