I said I wouldn’t write more “Novel Report” posts. If you’re writing a first novel, the story of my progress is probably interesting enough that I should write something about it. If not, you can skip past the italic text to the main article.
My final revision (a fourth revision) took less than a month. I moved on to a proofreading review and found a fair number of spelling errors, missing and extra words, and unclear sentences to re-write.
My manuscript then went out to three early readers for their review. One of my readers was too far away to pass the file on in person. I didn’t want to send it by e-mail because some hackers lurk at e-mail nodes waiting to add attachments and copy attachments that are already there. To get the file to my distant reader, I stole a trick from international criminals. I created a separate e-mail account and gave my reader the user-name and password. I signed in, attached my manuscript to a draft e-mail, and signed out. My reader signed in, opened the draft, downloaded the attachment, and signed out. My manuscript’s only exposure to the net was the email service.
One of my readers has finished their review. I’ve considered their recommendations and made changes where it seemed apt. One big change still to be made is chapter 14. “It doesn’t seem to move the story forward” because it was meant to show relationships. The relationships between friends are already shown through the story. I’m keeping the early part of the chapter because it reveals a family relationship that isn’t shown elsewhere, but the rest will be summarized. Then I will use a chapter break (not a new chapter) before two unidentified characters tell stories about how they’ve had to deal with gangs in the past. This is a foreshadowing that will help shorten chapter 54. It’s my own edit that chapter 54 is too long. The foreshadowing will help cut a bit and removing an unnecessary character from the chapter takes it the rest of the way.
After those two minor chapter revisions and the reviews from my other two early readers, all that will remain for the manuscript is a final proofread. What still remains to be done is the book cover, the e-book formatting, and short stories for promotion.
I included my second try at a book cover with the review copies. My first reader liked the cover. I do not. I’m working on a third.
The e-book formatting appears fairly easy. I already format my word processor documents without white space because I learned technical writing for my job. I learned html and css before I started blogging as part of my computer studies. The guides I’ve found have been clear for me, but I can see how they might pose problems for some writers. They often say much that doesn’t help get the job done and commit the expert’s fallacy of assuming the reader will understand basic steps that aren’t explained. I will be writing my own guide. If it’s really short, it will be a blog post. If it’s too long for a blog post, it will be a giveaway file with a copy-left so that you’ll be free to share it.
The short stories are not zipping along as quickly as I’d like. I have 20 in the works. Four of them now have the outline ready to go, so those will be written and posted on my Killer Stories blog shortly. I could write them faster if I’d use a plot formula, but where’s the fun in that?
I now return you to your irregularly scheduled blog post.