Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A look into my revision process

Originally I was going to do a post on self-editing, but I decided to give you guys a look into my SPE project by how I revise. In Black and White is 73k words, give or take. I've sent most of it out to betas for first round, this is what I look for from them first round:

Plot holes
Constancy in characters/actions/events
Anything that sticks out at them

Now, I do go through it before I send it out. As an author though some things escape me because I see it different in my head. This is why you should always pass your work to a beta at least once. So when I get it back from them, I compile the notes. I see what is most common, then second most common, and then each nitty gritty detail each of them picked up. I combine all these in one document using track changes. It can get confusing this way, but 1) I can see all the changes and 2) I can see a little more clearly where the most work is needed.  Next I go through it again and make the changes that I think are needed. This time hoping that I fix all the big stuff (plot holes, flow you know the stuff that makes for super bad writing and I asked my betas to point out.) Then I send it out again if there were some major things, In Black and White will be going out for a second time because there are a few things that must be changed up to flow a little more.  So the second time around I will be asking for:

Flow (in the places that I'm fixing)
Sentence structure that is awkward that I didn't catch
Any last minute thoughts over all

So right now you're asking me, what about grammar, I don't see that on your list. Well I save that for last, because I don't like to waist people's time. How would you like to spend a couple hours going through something and checking every comma, every period, every nitty gritty grammatical thing just for me to completely rewrite the section and you having to go through it again for those items? I also have a special person who will get Black and White a third time, she will go through it in hard copy and fix the grammar, a week to two weeks before the release she'll hand it back to me, I'll finish it up and send it to everyone to reread through for typos.

So that's how I tackle a project. With Black and White I send a few chapters at a time to the betas so they don't get overwhelmed. I also only do a few chapters at a time to keep me from being burnt out. I hope you guys appreciate all the hard work my betas and I do to polish up this project for you!

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