I’m on a roll—three days in a row I’ve exceeded my expectations for progress on the novel. At present I’m two days ahead of schedule. Which is great news, given I’m trying to bank three books before launching the first in the series—allowing myself a runway for future publications.
I’m still debating between putting them all out on day one, or spreading them out over my ideal 21-day release schedule. If I set proper expectations up front, I’ll gradually build an audience. If I launch strong with three books at once, I’ll have more profits to invest in advertising. I either give up the two-book safety net or bank five books before launching. Pushing my first book out from January to March.
Until today my process had been the rough draft i.e. dictation, in the morning. Followed by lunch while I watch educational YouTube. In the afternoon, polishing my rough draft into what I consider my first draft. Which involves two editorial passes: first doing it by hand to clean up the dictation, the second using Pro Writing Aid to help identify my weaker writing habits.
In the evening I had been sending off the chapters to my Alpha-Reader. I received feedback either the same night or early the next morning. What I discovered is the copy I was sending to my Alpha-Reader wasn’t clean enough. By sticking with the draft all day, and not resting, I was delivering a rougher version than I intended. My Alpha-Reader deserves a minimal viable product, not my mad-rush-first-draft.
To fix the problem I’ve added in a sleep cycle. Now when I come back to the draft in the morning with fresh eyes, I can see all the small typos and fix them. I’ll receive feedback tomorrow if this worked, but I’m confident it will make a world of difference.
Self-Editing for Fiction Writers
In reading this book again, trying to tease out lessons I can apply to my daily editing process. Simultaneously I’m researching copy editors, so I can have three to five lined up for the moment I finish this first book. If you have any recommendations, please leave them in the comments below, or email me.
By going with three to five at the start, I hope to see a clear consensus on my weaknesses as an author. Furthermore, I plan to use this first book as a test to find a copy editor I mesh well with. I need an editing partner for the long haul. I’ve no interest in changing editor mid series, and I prefer to keep the same editor my entire career.