So last week, I talked about choosing to self publish, and I promised that I would talk this week about editing my book. Remember, that this is my journey and it will be different than the path you may need to take to get to the same point.
Finishing the Book
My first attempt at NaNo didn’t go well. It wasn’t terrible, but I had several things that came up in November of 2010, including the birth of my niece, and not knowing my story well enough to tell it at that point.
I was ready in 2011, and hit that 50k word mark with a couple of hours to spare. That wasn’t the end of the journey, it was only the beginning.
I took off a month from even thinking about my book. Then I printed out the book and read it with a pen in hand. I made corrections as I went and made it better. After that, I went to my Word file and worked on the ending of the book.
With a word sprint, I was able to finish the story around 11pm on October 2012, just before I started work on my next novel, Young Mutants in Love.Obviously, I didn’t worry about my 2011 book for that entire month. I had something else on my mind.
Read it again
After taking about a month away from my finished story, I went back and read it again. This read through was focused on finding big errors. Did I mix up names? (which I did) Are there any sentences that are awkward or pointless? What about scenes? Do you have any that don’t add to the story?
In this round, mostly just take notes. You might want to make a timeline and list features about your characters and locations. (I couldn’t remember what color eyes my characters had, and that was a problem.)
Here’s where you have to get tough on your story. Remember all of those words, sentences and scenes that you were spotting in the first read? Now is the time to seriously think about them. Filler chapters may not really need to be a part of your story.
My final look was focused on getting rid of adverbs. I put them everywhere, and I discovered that I didn’t need most of them. I did keep some of them, and I kept all of them with one of my characters because I felt that they fit with her character.
Final Look Over
Now that I’ve don’t my edits,I need to look at how the book looks on Kindle. So far it is going well. I’m also spotting several adverbs that I missed.
If you are going to self publish, then no one else is going to make sure that your book looks right unless you want to pay someone to do it for you.Be sure to have a friend or two look it over since it is good to have fresh eyes looking at your words.
William D. Dickerson recently self published his first book, Cherry Wood. It is available in print and on Kindle through Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CJ4NPX4. You can also check out his website at www.lockheed40books.com (although it is still a work in progress.
William D. Dickerson
Author of Cherry Wood