Category: Editing

Friends and Feedback

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.

Thanks for reading!


Duilleog is Back with the Editor

Duilleog: A New Druids Novel, Volume One

Duilleog: A New Druids Novel, Volume One

Duilleog is back with the editor. Nikki Rae over at Metamorphosis Editing Services did an excellent job at cleaning up the typos, syntax and formatting errors and helped me identify some really serious point of view issues I had failed to recognise. I’m such a noob.  It only goes to show that writing takes practice and without it you suffer.

If I am lucky I will have the second look-over completed in a couple of weeks, made the last corrections, and then I will be able to publish for the Kindle. This will be followed by the Nook, Smashwords and Kobo versions. eBooks are extremely easy to create and having a program like Scrivener makes it more so.

For those wanting an actual paperback of the story, I’m sorry, but you will need to wait a little bit as I sort out the formatting. When you self-publish the author has to do all the work for formatting the book and creating the cover. You could pay for someone to do that for you but that is just more money. And, anyway, I consider my designing skills to be “not too bad” and I am proud of my designed covers. Formatting for Amazon CreateSpace is a simple process but it takes time, attention to all the little details, and it is all online and you won’t really know if you got it right until you get your hands on the author copy to verify the product before letting it go to print. All this takes time, time, and more time (and the delays due to snail mail). So maybe mid-July for the paperback version?

So exciting!


New Druids Series: New Covers for Volume One and Sneak Peek at Volume Two

Duilleog: A New Druids Novel, Volume One

Duilleog: A New Druids Novel, Volume One

Stoc: A New Druids Novel, Volume Two

Stoc: A New Druids Novel, Volume Two

The New Druid Series has new covers for Volumes One and Two. Minor changes to Duilleog and a sneak peak at the cover for Stoc!  For those still interested in the process, I have learned some new things about Scrivener specific to supporting multiple eBook formats and paperback formats. In case you didn’t realise each company has their own unique requirements for eBooks. Amazon requires specific formats for their eBooks’ (Mobi format), Kobo and Nook require specific formats for their eBooks (ePub format).  And CreateSpace on Amazon requires some very specific formatting to ensure that the printed novel looks professional. It is all very, very time consuming for a noobie author like me to wade through. All perfectly fun for an anal retentive, OCD-ish, Navy officer who likes everything prim, proper and shipshape. What a fun hobby this is!

Today I also waded into the realm of royalties and the rules and trying to intentionally lower my expectations. It is further complicated by my living in the US, but not being a US citizen who pays US taxes, and trying to register my novels as a Canadian without a Canadian address. Bleah. Thank you, mom and dad for unknowingly letting me use your address as a temporary Canadian one until I move back this August!

Duilleog is still with the editor and I hope to get it back in a week or so. Luckily I discovered that I had unintentionally deleted Chapter Ten and so my editors didn’t have it in their hands. That was quickly fixed after a moment of panic when I saw it truly was gone from the Scrivener binder. But no worries! Have I told you how wonderful Scrivener is? Well, there was my chapter, sitting in the trash bin. Scrivener never truly deletes anything. I am obviously not the first author who has done something equally stupid and Scrivener is ready for that.


Finally Have My First Novel into the Editor

I finally have my first novel, Duilleog, in with the editor over at Metamorphosis Editing. I’m pretty excited about it. The revision work took me a long time to do but only because I was finding it hard to find time to actually sit down and do the work. But it’s done and it’s in and I can kind of relax now for a bit and focus on other projects. Such as moving back to Canada with my family.

You might be interested to note that after I sent the novel to Metamorphosis I sat down to just read my story while trying to reach a place of “reader” rather than “writer” and I was successful for a little while. I actually enjoyed reading my own novel! Go figure. Then I found more typos and that was it – back to editing again. There is a certain pleasure in having completed the amount of work that goes into a novel at this stage in its creation. I’ve written over 112,000 words in this novel and about 50,000 words written in the second novel (Stoc). And I complain when I have a 4,000 word essay due for my course.  Too funny.

Anyway, the novel should hopefully be back by the end of the month. Then I can make the recommended changes and THEN I can finally publish it. So mid-May is looking pretty good for now. I’ll let you know. Promise.

What a journey so far!


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