Cockroaches gnaw at my innards as the book sprouts wings.
It was an uphill struggle that needed patience, determination and some humour if possible. Copy editing and proof reading in the second draft is quite momentous. After writing 6 and a half books (only two on Amazon at present) I have just got the hang of tackling editing in a peaceful way rather than being thrown into the gladiatorial ring facing the lions with teeth of typos.
Over two years ago, I did commence my writing enterprise with a publisher. We got on really well and became fast friends, but for reasons I won’t go into, I no longer have a publisher. Thankfully, I managed to get out of a five year contract with the one year clause. We’re still friends too:)) I don’t believe in ill feelings.
So it was either stop writing or try ‘Indie’. Now, I was so naive that I when I saw the term Indie publisher, I honestly thought it meant they published in India. I thought that was quite a way to go to get the book published and maybe there was something nearer home. I hadn’t heard of Amazon except that it was something to do with Createspace and I was keen to go on there. See? I know – I know it sounds unbelievable but this was two years ago. Kindle was just getting known at least here in the UK.
I know it sounds as if I’m somewhat lax, but I think I can count myself among many new novelists who thought their first book was perfect with the one off edit and proof reading. Not so, a Big not so. The worst part of the novel for any writer is the copy editing and proof reading which can take four to five drafts and more sometimes.
Writing is a joy, it is exciting, mesmerising, where the truly creative writer lives in another reality when writing the novel. But with copy editing, the writer comes down to earth with a thud and clenched teeth. However, at last, at least, I am on the last lap of editing my new book, all that is left is to put right some minor typos after weeks of crunching the keys. Having said that I still have two crime books and half a regency romance to edit before I can think of covers and publishing those.
The purpose of this post is to say, there is another way out of all this momentous gut wrenching, hair pulling experience. I’ve decided to copy edit and proof read along with getting my copy editor (hubby) to do the same with every new chapter. That way I will save a lot of heart stopping flaws. He is actually one of the best, having at one time done a stint as a Signals Officer in the RAF, reading, typing and decoding coded messages. So the guy doesn’t miss a comma even. Mind you, he is forever taking me to task, telling me to slow down on the typing. But I can’t, the characters are talking fast or shouting, crying, laughing, or the plot is zipping along and I have to keep up.
But screams the reader who is also a writer, you can’t edit chapter by chapter, you know that the book can change radically with the second draft. To which I reply, yes – yes, I know, but even so, just copy edit and proof again. Don’t leave it until there are over eighty thousand words give or take, and a month of arguing with oneself and trying to be sweet to the family whilst cockroaches are gnawing away at my innards.
I do wish I could afford a copy editor per se, who would correct, suggest and just do it all. but that would cost hundred’s of pounds. But now a tip to the writers out there, is to read aloud every sentence, only that way will you trace the evil typos lurking in the words.
I am now intent of writing a few books per year, well three at the most, one which will be a short story or novella. I can’t see my way to paying that kind of money and buy a memory foam mattress or ham off the bone instead of those paper thin strips of stuff. Having said that being a vegetarian, or fisharian, that doesn’t apply but the analogy is there.
So the book is now sprouting wings and will soon leave the nest. I know I always feel quite choked when I write the last line of the novel and know I will say farewell to my other reality or world.
So, the last book of the Rhonan series, Reunited at Rhonan is soon winging its way to Amazon and Createspace and to all of you dear readers who have emailed me about it.