Getting my book published aside, I have been making some serious progress this week. Tuesday night I finished what is hopefully my final read-through of my first book, check for grammatical and punctuation errors. As I have mentioned on another post, I had a proof copy of my book made because I find reading through a book very different from reading on my computer screen. (Also, it made it easier for my husband to read through and also check for errors for me.) Now I just get to make all of my handwritten changes on the computer version–something I’m not looking forward to, given that’s something I’ve been doing a lot of lately at work.
Last night I finished writing my second book. It is very rough, but all the parts are there. I will go all the way through it once or twice to correct plot continuity errors (because the end of your book never matches up with the start of your book 100% on the first time through) and start to whittle it down (it’s 237 pages–that’s 8.5×11–and 150,000 words). Second books are allowed more leeway than first books, so I don’t have to cut out 40,000 words to make it match the first book in length, but there’s really too much there. I will probably aim for 130,000 words, but I expect it will take me a few drafts to get there.
Once I have polished the first draft a little, I will print a proof and let my husband read it. Whatever comments he has about plot or characters, I will consider making changes. This is usually the time when I leave the manuscript alone for several months so it can “stew.” Then, when I’m ready, I’ll pick it up and address my husband’s concerns and make whatever other changes I think need to be made. I consider this my second draft (even though it will have had several minor revisions since being completed). I will let my other readers read this draft and give me feedback. From there, it’s a matter of refining further–namely revising with an eye towards cutting down on the word count.
I already have the picture for the front cover of the second book picked out. (Not likely that my choice will actually be what’s on the cover of the published copy, but it is what will be on my personal proof copies.) Yes, I love Pre-Raphaelite art.