Monday, July 22, 2013

Reality Sets In: It's a Book!

Over the last few weeks, I have been revising a book, chapter by chapter. Today, I pulled all the individual chapter files into one single file...and I have, ta-da and to my amazement, a BOOK.

Okay, I'm slow on the uptake at times, but knowing you're writing a book and having the entire manuscript of the book in your hands... Ooh boy, talk about bringing reality home. An honest to goodness (cohesive, well-plotted, developmentally sound) book!

In Times New Roman 14-Point (to ease overtired eyes) and at 400 pages, the manuscript sits three finger-widths deep and waiting. Gulp and wow, just wow...

First, I pretend I'm a reader, and read the pages for enjoyment, only noting those sections that might lag or need further revision.

Second, I read for character voice. Does the character's POV "sound" like the character in individual POV chapters and in dialog?

Thirdly, I polish, adding metaphors and similes and improving style.

Then comes a focus on pacing... Does a scene ending need to be tightened or sections of the chapter sentences shortened? Is the pacing of chapters varied and forward-moving? What adjustments (shorter paragraphs, shorter sentences, shorter words) need to be made to increase pacing to build to the book's climax?

After that, the entire manuscript gets analyzed via AutoCrit ( to catch overused words and phrases repeated throughout the book in its entirety.

Next, back to 12-point font size, the book is ready for a chapter break review and spell checking.

Lastly, I attach the BOOK to an email and send the attachment to a professional fiction editor, a few beta readers, and then move on to the next revision project.

Busy times ahead.

Also, if the attached photo is any indication, I anticipate a few roadblocks... Wait, maybe the little guy is there for support... Nah.

And look, do you see that stack of paper there next to Lightning Boy? That's a manuscript, an honest to goodness book. Yeah, baby, it's a book!

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