In resuming the Editing Grind with Book 3, it struck me just how far along I got in the gamut of self-publishing. I went from wracking my head over it to actually having a near-intuitive sense of how to correct my manuscript and steer it into the proper direction.
Yes, I have an editor, but the plotline/scene edits are mine to do before the manuscript goes to her for syntax & consistency.
There’s also a huge reason that I insisted on finishing out Book 4: because this is a series. While I will be working out the kinks of Book 3, I will be simultaneously checking with Books 2 and 4 to make sure that yes, I set the groundwork properly and that no, I am not breaking canon. It’s one of the things about writing a series: consistency within the story becomes that much more necessary. And it is a lot easier to edit when you have an entire completed set – this way, it’s clear what is missing and what needs to be patched over.
I’m seriously thinking about going through Book 4 and summing it up with one sentence per scene. It would help me track easier, but at this point, I’m a fair bit leery about doing extra work. For one, my time during the day is curtailed, and I would like to catch up on my graphic design (I have an e-poster to take care of that I’ve yet to begin…oy!). For two, Book 4 too requires a good once-over and I’m by no means ready to gut out and edit two books simultaneously. I don’t sleep enough as it is; I am not going to deprive myself any more than I must.
So, what I’m doing is a slow-and-steady read-through with corrections. First things first: it is always a good idea to limit how much text one reads and corrects. Being human means knowing your limits and, having been in more than one situation where I had to de-cross my eyes because it simply got to be Too Much (and I kept plodding through anyway!), there is a lot to be said for shift of focus. I usually go through one scene, then distract myself, come back and do another scene, and finish out at a chapter. It’s a start, and if adapted as a pattern, gets work done quickly.
I’m giving myself about 4-5 months (yes, months) to get Book 3 together. The first edit or read-through is never the best one. And before Gayle checks it for consistency, etc. I want to be sure that the story is as true-to-form as possible.
I foresee a lot of coffee cups in my future…