Practical Editing….

 

 

When you are done, you’re done, right?  When I post something on my blog, once I click publish, it is a done deal.  If I go back and find 10,000 typos?  Oh well, too bad.  OK, I do sometimes go back and correct things, but usually not after the first day or two.

I spent a good chunk of time the last few weeks before I published The Fireborn reading over it to catch errors and typos.  I also had two people go over it for me.  Between the two of them, they caught a dozen or so things that I had missed and had a handful of subjective ideas.  So when I clicked Publish, it was a done deal.  I had done my work.

A couple of months later I heard some complaints that there were a lot of typos.  I knew I would have to go back and fix them, but I didn’t want to.  When you are done, you’re done!  Last week I finally broke down and faced the inevitable.  I had to fix it.

I read the entire manuscript out loud, from beginning to end.  I might have over done commas, but every time I paused in my reading, I added a comma.  I found (or I guess I didn’t find) a lot of missed words.  Always small things, like “the”, “of”, “he”, “if”, “that”, etc.  I also came across a few “orphaned” words.  At some point in editing, I would make a change and not delete the old word or phrase.  They have now been deleted.  I found a small sprinkling of wrong words, mostly things like “of” instead of “off”, or “to” instead of “too”.  I also made some small changes where it just didn’t read well.  In particular, I tried to get rid of some of the worst examples of using the same word twice (or three times) in a row.  I am sure I missed many mistakes.  Also, I did not make any major changes.  I did not want to make a new version, just correct the one that I already had.  So what is posted is version 1.01, not version 2.0 or even 1.1.  (Yeah, I worked as a software engineer in the past ;) )

I republished The Fireborn last night.  I’m a little embarrassed that a lot of people have copies with so many mistakes, but at least anyone picking it up from here on out will have a better copy to read.

This is the end of the post, but if you are interested in the new, improved version of The Fireborn (OK, the corrected old version), read on!

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cauldron-v-008

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide….

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

The Fireborn is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.

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The Firstborn

12 thoughts on “Practical Editing….

  1. D. Wallace Peach

    Editing is such a bear! I go over my books dozens of times, have a bunch of people read them, and still miss things. It is definitely a good idea to update them, so readers will keep coming back for more. Good for you for taking the time. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I went over this so many times, but looking back, I spent too much time reading instead of editing. Also, I knew the “trick” of reading it out loud, but didn’t take the time to do it. It really forced me to look at every single word when I finally did it that way.

      Besides the “bunch of people”, do you use a professional editor? I want to for my WIP, the Halley Branch, but I doubt I’d be able to make up even 10% of the cost. If I had a professional edit the Fireborn, so far I won’t have recouped 1%…. I’m not sure if I can justify it.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. D. Wallace Peach

        I don’t use a professional editor, but before my beta readers get it, I read the thing out loud forward. After the beta readers and my final edits, I read it out loud backwards paragraph by paragraph, and finally, I have Word read it out loud to me as I follow along.
        And I still miss a few things!

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    Good for you. I should have done it, but I was too sick at the time and by the time I wasn’t so sick, more than a year had passed and I was REALLY done. But it’s better you fixed it. When you go back and read it again — and you will — you will not cringe at ever typo you encounter. I find my book deeply cringe-worthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Even with 5 months, it was very hard to get motivated to start, but once I did, it went well. I’m glad I did pick it up. I’m sure I will still cringe at the typos, but there won’t be quite as many cringe-worthy moments!

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  3. Sandra Conner

    That problem is something that all writers go through, Trent — including the “best-selling authors.” Don’t feel too bad. I had novels published that had been edited 12 times, and when I picked them up two years after publication, I still found a few typos. And the problem is not just something experienced by people who publish independently. I read a lot, and I don’t think I’ve read one novel for the past several years that did not have typos — or much worse — and I’m talking about books published by the biggest names in the country. I’ve found whole novels that completely leave out the past perfect tense of verbs — causing considerable confusion in the chronology of the plot. I’ve also found hilarious errors in positioning and movement of characters within scenes, as well as gross grammatical errors.

    And these books have been published by the so-called “elite” in the business. Moreover, you can bet they won’t go back and correct and re-publish those books. That’s one thing I really enjoy and am grateful for concerning the books that I’ve published independently: I can do that kind of correcting and re-publishing, and that’s a great advantage. Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do our best to catch all those things before we publish. I’m just saying that no one does catch them all before publication, and at least we can do something about it if we need to.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I know it is impossible for anybody to find all of the mistakes in a book. I have seen plenty in books that I’ve read, but pretty much just pass over them.

      I think that you are correct that the ability to quickly make changes to a book is one of the biggest benefits of self-publishing over traditional publishing. I have read that it can take years for changes to be made, if they are at all. In a few months I can decide to go back to The Fireborn and do another scan for issues, maybe even going in a little deeper if I feel like it. Not easy for someone traditionally published.

      On the other hand, I am reading Stephan King’s The Stand – He rewrote it and reissued it about a dozen years after its release. But then, few authors have the power of a Stephan King!

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