Saturday, July 28, 2012

Phase Two: Getting closer to closure

All edits from the first round applied, the second round begins. The first phase of the second round has just been finished. A complete read of the book to make sure the edits read properly and that the flow of the book hasn't been disturbed. This read is done by me, the author.

I've made some rewrites to the narrative and dialogue to make the edits that have been applied. Some plot points were reworked to give more pop to their unique narrative. I scoped the piece to make sure that there is very little expository writing, or if any is needed, the characters come off as being conversational and speaking toward one another rather than speaking to the reader and specifically giving the reader information. Dialogue has to exist, even expository dialogue, even if the reader didn't. The characters shouldn't care that they are being peeped in on. And hopefully, there should not be any dialogue where the character defines who they are. If so, make it minimal, and again, conversational.

That being said, I move closer to completing this project. Also, I'm sure I'm guilty of most of things I hate. But I do strive to not implement some cliches, or find a new way to express them if I see no other way around them.

Now it's back to the editors. I'll be printing out their copies next week and also giving them a copy. And hopefully their read goes as quick as mine. (and just as, if not more, thorough). Then we'll be at the last stage, which will is when we'll be holding a physical book. The Printer's Proof.

There will also be a copyright attached by that time, and I will be revealing the name and cover for this current project.

Can't wait.

b write black

Sunday, July 15, 2012

We last spoke

The first round of edits is complete, and all edits have been applied. But post-production for the project is far from over. This current project, like A Company of Moors, is made of three acts. This made editing a lot easier, and allowed editing to take place simultaneously with writing.

True editing began as I finished the second act. I was able to put the first two acts in the hands of editors while I typed away relentlessly on the third and final act. The process of editing is just as important as the writing process, if not more. It tightens the already "brilliant work" that you've been working and slaving over for the past year or so. Or they show that you should just be keeping a journal, or you need to see a therapist and writing isn't your thing. The red ink bleeding all over your words, page after page, can either be uplifting or ego shattering.

Whatever it is, go through the process. It's completely necessary, even if, in and of itself, it's not always perfect. Award-winning literary pieces have typos and questionable phrasing. But editing can allow you to steer people's eyes away from that as they get lost in what you've created.

The editing process concerning your work should consist of these parts.

First, read your work once you're finished with it. Tighten your work as best you can before submitting it to your editors. There are some things that as the writer only you can see, get the flow correct before giving it to someone else. Often, I start this reading when I'm finished with each act. Use spell check to catch typos (it won't catch 'em all, but put it to use). Push each act through to your editors when you're confident...that only other people's eyes need to tear it apart. But ego aside, the editors are your best friends.

Surround yourself with editors that care about the final presentation of your work as much as you do. They'll know that a single word taken out of a sentence can make the line tighter, even if it's a word you love and think makes the sentence pop. Guess what? It doesn't. Let it go.

Regardless, once you receive your manuscript back from the editors, you can take your frustrations out on them in a meeting to discuss all edits, queries, and suggestions. Once there's an agreement to all edits made and suggestions taken/or vetoed and queries answered, let the application of the edits begin.

And that's what I've been doing since we last spoke. It's been an intense editing and application of the edits, along with meetings about them. This has been going on since the final act was finished and edited.

On Friday night (July 13), early Saturday morning, the first round of edits was completed. All edits applied, now a second read will happen. An important read will be a story that runs parallel to the main story. I've already isolated the pages in a separate document, and I'll go over it with a fine-tooth comb. Also, editing will bring about slight restructures to subplots and plot points. Dialogue taken out or expanded to flesh out the plot/or a character. Exposition hacked down, characters made subtle instead of obvious (a big mistake for writers). Getting things closer to what you imagined before your started typing, closer to what your notes say...or even...something different, as the story becomes organic and grows on its own.

So now comes round two. What does the story look like now with the edits made? Has the continuity been effected? How does the narrative flow now?

With this project, isolating the parallel story (which hadn't suffered from much). There will be a closer look at that story. And we'll go through it all over again. My personal read, and then the editors' reads. Hopefully, we like what we see. We all agree. Some changes will still need to be made. Maybe things were better before. Maybe some things would be better changed. What the story needs isn't always how you want to write it.

The final step is submission and receiving the proof. Reading from the proof is good. It's psychological. The eye and mind has been trained to read a book that )for the most part) is clear of mistakes. So, mistakes should JUMP out if they're lurking.

This second round shouldn't take as long as the first, as it is already underway. Over the next couple days I'll be diving back into the story. Then the editors take some lashes at it.

The third round is the most fun. It begins with a product, something tangible. There's no more manuscript. There's an actual book now. Open it. Look at it. Marvel and take in the sight. Then go through it and grit your teeth when you and your editors catch the four remaining mistakes and you have to re-submit to the printers and pay for a new proof.

Then it's perfect. Released.

And the critics tear it apart for being drivel. It's all worth it.

b write black (soon, with a final product).

(no editing was done to this post)