And now, the time is here, and so I face the final curtain… Well, it’s not the final curtain, not just yet, I’ll stop being so dramatic BUT edits/proofreading for Psychic Surveys Book Two: Rise to Me have all been done. It’s been sent back to the publisher, Crooked Cat Publishing, and is waiting in the wings to be published on March 19th – much like I’m waiting in the wings too – for the big day. Whilst I’m waiting I’m also writing – Eve – a Psychic Surveys novella spin-off featuring Theo and Ness is my next project – due out in time for Christmas. And then it’s onto Psychic Surveys Book Three, but first, back to those pesky edits.
When you’re trying to maintain a story arc, avoid repetition, keep the pace going, ensure everyone stays in character, you’ve got to know every word of your book backwards – in the case of Rise to Me, all 93,000 of them! Yep, essential bit of editing kit No.1 is a good memory! Then there’s flow, grammar and punctuation to contend with. A comma can still – a degree in English and American Literature later – baffle me! I either over use them or under use them. Thank goodness for editors who know their stuff. Even so, in a book that size, the odd typo will still slip through, because there’s such a thing as word blindness – your brain tricks writer, editor and proofreader into seeing the word that should be there, rather than the word that is there. Rise to Me is my fifth book though and I’m learning. Essential bit of editing kit No. 2 has got to be Word’s Find and Replace function – able to impart in a jiffy how many times you’ve used a particular word (far too many!) as well as ferret out common literary misdemeanours. So, what are your particular stumbling blocks? With me I quadruple-check the following:
all the ‘ly’ words – axe as many as possible! For example, ‘sprints’ is better than ‘runs quickly’.
‘Very’ and ‘Really’ – again, axe, rarely do they add anything to a sentence.
‘That’ is not needed as much as you think it is.
Contractions – of the literary kind! ‘I’m going to her house’ sounds much friendlier than ‘I am going to her house’. Contract to your heart’s content!
That’s just the tip of the iceberg really but learning on the job means by the time you’re on your sixth book (as I am) you’re keeping more of an eye out for these blunders, thus avoiding them in the first place. It’s a learning curve though, a steep one. Just yesterday I had someone come up to me in the playground and tell me a couple of instances in my latest release (Jessamine) where a comma has been used incorrectly and that a ‘you and me’ would have been better than the ‘you and I’ used. Yep, she’s a proofreader, and she might well have got herself a job on my forthcoming novella. I do love an eagle eye!
Anything else to add to the list above, let me know…!
Rise to Me is Book Two in the Psychic Surveys series (paranormal mystery/thrillers). Psychic Surveys Book One: The Haunting of Highdown Hall is available on Amazon: