Wednesday, April 4, 2018

It's a Process

Today I'm going to touch on something I normally do my best to avoid: Book Quality

Don't click away angry just yet. I'm talking about editing.

Whether you self-publish or go through a traditional publisher its vital to polish your story. In fact, most authors, agents and marketers are going to tell you a polished story goes a lot further than a draft.

Everyone is going to have their own process of writing and editing. Some authors do all their editing as they write. Others, like myself, sit through countless read throughs.

My process goes like this:

Writing: While I'm writing the story I often have to go back and read earlier scenes. When I find something wrong I try to fix it or I highlight it for later with a quick note.

Read Through 1: Once the story is finished I'll read it. I do take a few days away from the story before reading it first, but I always read through it. Sometimes out loud and sometimes kicked back with a never ending supply of coffee. Most of what I catch here are plot holes or rough wording.

Hubby Read: Next, the revised story goes to my husband. He's the first one to read what I write and I'm lucky enough to have an honest partner who isn't afraid to point out issues. This also gives me a few more days away from the story.

Read Through 2: After hubby is finished I read over his suggestions and do another read through on my own. Just ONE though. This is the point where I can get stuck in an editing and revising loop. They aren't fun and sometimes hurt the story more than help.

Beta Readers: At long last I reach out to beta readers. Be careful who you ask to read for you. Not all readers are meant to be betas. Find people who will give you usable feed back. Not just stroke your ego or give a one line "It's great" instead of helping find errors.

Read Through 3: Now that the beta readers are finished I go over their suggestions and do another read through. After I may or may not it through an online editing app, such as the Hemingway Editor, to catch small issues. They're great for finding passive voice.

Traditional or Self-Publishing?

Traditional: If this is the path then I put the story aside for the moment and work on the synopsis and query letter. Then off it goes to the publisher for consideration. (Rejection or Celebration to follow)

Self-Publishing: I went this rout with Lost Relic and Just Beyond Daybreak. Hiring a professional editor is the best thing you can do for your story if you're going to self-publish. My go to editing service is Shalamar Media. I have been very happy with the services and they're reasonably priced for what they offer.

Even after all that I still find errors here and there. It happens. Writing is an art form and if you've got a story to tell go on and tell it. Then polish it until it shines and introduce it to the world.

Peace and Love!

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