I’ve been working ten to twelve hour days this week since Monday (today is Thursday) focused on the revision edit of Stoc. A revision edit (not sure if that’s a real term or not – it’s what I use) is my second pass through the novel. It allows me to discover flaws and correct typos and the like. Essentially I am reading the novel for the first time. I’ve given myself until August 15th to complete this critical revision.
Once that is complete it will be sent out as an ARC.
After that comes the final revision. I love the final revision. It’s when the novel is polished.
Big shout out to my goofy dog Woody who has been bugging me non-stop at home while I do the revision work.
For the first time, for my third novel, I have enlisted the help of a woman who delivers author services. Her name is C.L. Cannon and her website is here. She is also an author and her website is here. I found her through another author, Melissa E. Beckwith that I converse with every now and then. Her website is here. I recommend her fantasy books. They are available on Amazon here. She has two books in her series available.
Author services provide a means for authors to get their latest book out and noticed more. I will be providing her with Advanced Reader Copies (ARC) mid-August. This is my deadline for getting Stoc finalised. I am currently pouring through the second draft. This is a lot of work people! The first draft is relatively easy. Moving toward final draft is where you decide which of your children get in the life raft. Not really as harsh as that but sometimes it is difficult to cut and slash. My dialogue tends to drift toward banter and I need to tighten that up. And confirm continuity and that I don’t break/change anything from the first two novels.
The release date for Stoc remains August 31st, 2017.
I have the week off work to get myself situated. So wish me luck. And mourn for the parts I shred…lol.
The first revision of Craobh is completed. I opted to go for a straight grammar and typo revision for this first pass. I removed the poorly chosen words, the “that” word, the -ly adverbs – all the usual bad writing habit stuff. I’ve stayed at 137K words. That’s about 17K words more than Duilleog.
I’m really pleased with this second novel. I learned so much writing Duilleog and it is reflected in this second volume. Some loose ends are tied up. More back story added. Some cool fights and magic! What more could you want?
Oh, you want the actual book in your hand? Well, good news on that front. I have found a professional editor who has agreed to help me out. I should have the novel back by mid-May. I make the necessary changes and I should be good for a May 31st, 2016 release date.
While writing Duilleog I gave many advance copies of the manuscript to my friends and family. I had mixed support. My aunt gave me inspiration and asked me a great question one day that made me go “Wow!” and make a change in the novel. One of my friends accidently threw the manuscript out with the recycling and then didn’t have the courage to simply tell me. He has no idea just how angry and disappointed I was in that single act. Mostly though, I received praise. Everyone loved it. No constructive criticism, though. So, I thanked everyone honestly and sincerely.
So I relied on my editor. She did such a great job with the first chapter. But after I gave her the full novel I discovered that what I got back was merely a typo check and grammar correction. Nothing more really. And it wasn’t a lot of effort. Probably 10 hours worth of Track Changes. I should point out that my own ability to find typos was pretty good and so the corrections were truly minor. What I didn’t get from my editor was comments on the content, the storyline, plot holes, character development. Stuff I paid for but didn’t get. What I got was: “It’s fine.”
I was in a weird place back then. I was so excited about getting my novel out that I suppressed my concern and I went ahead and self-published. I was at the point that I could no longer see the forest for the trees. I thought my novel complete. I thought it good enough. It was, but it could have been better polished.
So the other day, a good friend who is just finishing up my novel sat me down and pulled out a list of errors and corrections that he found. He talked to me about the plot, storylines, wording, repetitive use of words, things that didn’t seem quite right to him. I could have hugged and kissed him and came damn close to doing just that. And he was worried he would offend me! That made me laugh. I told him that I was so absolutely thankful that I couldn’t possibly express it properly. So Steve C.: Thanks! Sincerely! OMG, you rock dude.
So, now I need to look at putting out a second edition. There are quite a few little problems that need to be fixed. Nothing major – all minor – but stuff my editor should ABSOLUTELY have picked up and corrected. Makes me angry knowing that my editor took my money and did the absolute minimum she could. It’s shameful. I need to find a good editor and hopefully I may have a way to seek that. I’ll explain in another post.
For those who have already purchased Duilleog: this corrected version should automatically be pushed to you on Amazon. if not, no worries. The corrections are simply typos and minor changes to word use. I didn’t do too bad a job with the first edition. It’s about 99.5% correct. Truly it is.
Oh, and the excerpt from Craobh that’s at the back of Duilleog? That will now become the epilogue within Duilleog.