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Thursday, September 3, 2015

No Fun Until The Red-Line Edits Are Done

Ah yes, the poet within my soul arises. At least I made the title rhyme.

I really want to continue on with my Game of Thrones posts right now. But I can't. Really, I simply cannot do that until I'm done with the red-line edits of Book Three.

So, what are red-line edits, you ask?


Great question actually.

The short answer: it's another step in the creative process. Specifically, a step in making the manuscript into a readable book. After I go through my original manuscript several times, I hand it off to several alpha-readers for their input. One looks at the writing with more of a technical eye. Changing words, fixes commas and semicolons, noticing missing open quotes.

The other finds some of those items but focuses more on the story itself. Are the characters real, does the plot flow, names and dates.

Both do some of each, all the while focusing on the area they perform best. Now, I need to make changes. A lot of changes.

               Title page                                                             First page






















(BTW, the manuscript is about 300 pages long).

On the title page I've laid out my strategy for this round of edits/fixes. First I will make all the obvious changes (in red on the first page -- thus "red-line" edits). After that I need to fix several scenes with one of my main characters (Cara Wake). Combined, those both should be fairly easy and quick.


Then the real fun starts


Another of my characters (Betsi Albrecht) needs a whole bunch of re-writes to her parts. Both in dialog and narration. She needs to change her attitude for the first three-quarters of the book. This one will take me a while.

The last thing I need to do is to create a timeline for the novel. What we know is that it's been 12 years since whatever happened happened. Some folks have been one place for ten years, Willem Tarlisch (our antagonist) has been banished to another place for the last six. There is a lot of reference to time in the novel. And I need to plot it out to be sure it all makes sense.

(Worth noting - one alpha-reader did some calculations and said Cara was married at 15. Not true. She was 20 or 21. Thus, I need to check that timeline carefully).

Then the novel will be ready for beta-readers


But not until all four steps (listed on my title page) have been completed. After the beta-readers are done I make some more changes, and then it's off to the editor. More changes a month or two later, one more set of readers, and BANG! Book Three of the WWIV series should be ready and on Amazon by late fall.

Until then, I have more pages like this to stare at:


   

Yeah, there's some work to get done this long holiday weekend. And I'd best get at it.


Until next week, enjoy the last few weeks of summer. Winter is Coming (a la the Starks).


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