Once I got all my gear together, I started editing SUT the sequel. (Yes, it has a title. But I’m not ready to release it yet because it has a spoiler in it.) I’m about 30 pages into the edit. Which may not sound like a lot, but it is. The first chapter takes lots and lots of work. And the second chapter too. So I’m making good progress, and I really, really hope the book will be ready by summer. Maybe sooner.
I hope you’re not pulling out your hair because I said the word “summer.” This edit won’t be the last one. Usually I do a big edit—the first one—where I fill all the plot holes. For example, I left two characters stranded in the first draft, so I have to rescue them. (I’m sure they’re irritated and will let me know when I get to them.) After the major edit, I’ll do a second edit to polish up the voice—so that it really sounds like Mark who’s telling the story and not me.
Then, I’ll send the book to beta readers. Beta readers are often other writers (not always though) who read the novel and give me feedback on what they think needs work. Then, I’ll make the changes they suggest. And then, I’ll give the book another edit.
After that, assuming it doesn’t need another edit, I’ll proofread it from beginning to end—with the Chicago Manual of Style next to me, so that I can look up any grammar fine points that I’m not 100% sure of. Then, I’ll proofread it one more time—from end to beginning. In other words, I’ll read the last chapter first. Then the second to the last chapter and so on until I reach the first chapter. You see, it’s really easy for the writer to get caught up in the story too. And then we miss things. I don’t want a book with errors that has my name on it. And it’s not just because my name is on it. But whenever there is an error whether it’s grammar or otherwise, it pulls the reader out of the story. More than anything else, I want you to get lost in the story.
BTW, for those of you who are writers, I did a post on "Writing Style" here.