Okay, so the title is a joke. It’s “for all intents and purposes,” although my high school students sometimes get it wrong. I hide a smile, fix it, and move on.
Today’s prompt asks about editing, which is what I am involved with now. As in right now, today. And it’s like I’m operating in Perfectionist Overdrive Mode as I comb the manuscript for nits and repetitions. Dang, I keep finding stuff!
So from now on I’ll be blogging about my new release, Darcy By Any Other Name. This is will be my first indie book, so I am learning as I go.
My best self-edit advice? Beginning-to-end repeated reading. Yes, aloud. This is a sure-fire way to spot clinkers, repeated information, and over-used words and phrases. I am ruthless with myself, because I don’t want readers to be pulled out of the story when something clanks.
“Warm readers” have stayed with me chapter by chapter, following because they’re enjoying the story. I rely on them for immediate feedback as to content and momentum. I need to gauge whether the scene carries enough emotion and whether the stakes are high enough. (Is it heartbreaking? Or funny? Are readers eagerly wanting more? Or is the scene confusing or ho-hum?) I will pretty much avoid later reviews on Amazon–I am easily cast down! –but the comments from these early readers I consider thoughtfully.
“Cold readers”–betas–look at the story as a whole. They also alert me to repeated information (the bane of serialized fiction) or to sluggish scenes that need tightening. It’s important to get rid of the stuff that readers tend to skip, so I rely heavily on these fresh sets of “beta” eyes.
Last come the proofreaders for typos and missing words. I have the darndest time spotting the latter. When I read my mind “sees” those missing words–even as a teacher grading papers! I shake my head and marvel at the eagle eyes of my proofreaders.
For future projects, I would like to hire a professional editor. It all depends on income stream, and of course I am hoping for the best.
Tomorrow’s prompt, the book cover! For this I did engage a professional, and the results took my breath away.
Would you like to see what the other challenge authors are blogging about? You can find their blogs here.