For the previous posts in this series on my writing process, click on the links below.
Part 1 - Introductions
Part 2 - Ideas
Part 3 - Outlining
Part 4 - First Draft
Part 5 - Revisions
Part 6 - Alpha Reader
Part 7 - Beta Readers
Part 8 - Professional Editing

Ok, so I’m finally nearing the end. I’ve reviewed my editor’s comments and made the changes I agreed with and felt were necessary to improve the story and prose. I’ve even made a second pass through the text to ensure that all the changes didn’t disrupt the flow of the text. At this point, I’m ready for the final step. Proofreading.

Proofreading means that you’re simply checking for dropped words, unexplainable added words, odd spacing, consistent spelling with words that Microsoft won’t catch (very important in fantasy fiction…Ha), and so on.

In many ways, this is one of the worst parts of readying your novel for publication because it is REALLY boring. And, no matter how many times you read over the manuspcript, you’ll always miss something. I try to take solace in knowing I’m not the only one. I mean, I don’t think I’ve ever read a book whether independently published or traditionally published that didn’t have at least a few errors in it. Still, I want my work to look as professional as possible so I hate having people point out
mistakes in the text.

This is generally how proofreading works for me:
  • I print one copy out for Leah to read.
  • I read a copy on the laptop (sometimes aloud)
  • I make any corrections she and I find and give her the final file to format for publication.
  • I then publish the document and read the entire book again on my ereader. You’d be surprised how different it is to read something just by changing the format. When I read Rise and Fall after the initial publication, I think I found another 5 or 6 errors, give or take, that I quickly changed.
  • At that point, I upload the corrected file to all of the sites carrying the book and then I wash my hands of it.
    • That being said, if a reader discovered a major error or several errors I would fix it. However, if someone says they found one misspelled word on page 298 and that’s really it, I let it go. At some point you just have to move on.

In the grand scheme of things, I think I read and reread Rise and Fall close to 30 times. Despite all the hard work, I’m sure it could be better in some people’s eyes and that’s fine if they believe so. However, just imagine how bad it would be if I hadn’t done my best and spent thousands of hours working on it.

Well, I think that’s about it for this series of blog posts. Hopefully you got some insight into how I approach the writing process.


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