Progress Report

dickens writingI was really hoping to have the “hot” book of the summer, but at the rate I’m going, maybe fall is more realistic. The advantage of self-publishing is that you control the process, but that only takes you so far, and there are still other people involved. I’m getting tech-help on the cover image. I am listening to comments and critique from beta-readers. What I am not doing is paying for an editor and or proofreader. My reasons for this, aside from money, are long and complex. Let’s just I’m better qualified than most of the people I’d be able to hire, and some of the betas are too. However, the job is tough, and it’s even tougher when it’s your own work. In order to overcome the problems inherent in proofing one’s own work, I’m using various techniques. Here are some of them:

  • Reading chapter by chapter from the last chapter forward.
  • Reading out-loud.
  • Creating a written style-sheet, just like real editors and proofreaders do.
  • Using a different font to trick my brain into seeing the text differently.
  • Converting to mobi in order to take advantage of Kindle’s “text to voice” feature and have the automated voice read aloud.

The last technique listed is the most effective. I even vary the voice. It’s helped me pick up typos my brain would have glossed over. But it’s SLOW going. You can’t actually edit on the Kindle, so you either highlight and deal later, or you work with both the kindle and the laptop. Either way, if you stop every time you hear something, it takes forever. But it’s worth it. I’ve found stuff I just HATE about my own writing. It’s painful sometimes to hear out loud how often I repeat words. And sometimes by the end of a long paragraph, I can’t wait to cut out entire sentences. I’m just relieved, dear reader, that I have a chance to fix all this before you get your tender hands on the work.

So as I wait for the final beta-reader (who by the way has a lifetime of professional experience, but if I told you who he was I’d have to kill you) to finish his task, I’ll continue to revise, revise, revise on my own because if I’ve learned one thing, I’ve learned you’re never really finished, and there’s always something.

Meantime, if you are dying to see some of my opus, there’s an excerpt over here.

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