7 November 2011, Publication - Manuscript editing
Introduction: I realized that I need to introduce this blog a little. I wrote the novel Aksinya: Enchantment and the Daemon. The working title was Daemon, and this was my 21st novel. Over the last year, I gave you the entire novel in installments that included commentary on the writing. In the commentary, in addition to other general information on writing, I explained, how the novel was constructed, the metaphors and symbols in it, the writing techniques and tricks I used, and the way I built the scenes. You can look back through this blog and read the entire novel.
I'm using this novel as an example of how I produce, market, and eventually (we hope) get a novel published. I'll keep you informed along the way. At this moment, I'm showing you the marketing material I put together for a novel.
Today's Blog: To see the steps in the publication process, go to my writing website http://www.ldalford.com/ and select "production schedule," you will be sent to http://www.sisteroflight.com/.
When you are editing the final manuscript from your publisher, your editing at this level needs to be focused on the plot, theme, and story. When doesn't it? The grammar, spelling, and structure in English should be very good. Your point is readability. That's why I read it out loud. If something sounds strange or the reading isn't smooth, you need to correct it. You can make this kind of edit at any time, but this is the key time to make certain of this characteristic of readability of your novel.
I've read many novels and manuscripts that are not very readable. You can tell right at the beginning. Remember how I harped on the quality of the beginning. It is really too late to fix that (the fact a publisher will take a risk on your novel ensures to a degree you have discovered this truth). It is not too late to make certain the words you use drag in your readers and that the words don't kick your readers out of their suspension of reality. There are other ways to say this. I'll try to be clear. When you read a novel, you expect to be immersed in the world of the novel. As a reader and as a writer, you don't want anything to kick the reader out of this suspension of reality. That's why readability is critical. This is why all those irritating ways of writing (too many adverbs, to use of weak verbs, too many adjectives, present participle constructions, misuse of words, repetition of words)--all of these need to be taken care of and this is your last chance.
Note especially, that most readers today will have an opportunity to read the first chapter of your work before they purchase your novel. The whole novel should be well constructed along these principles, but you must make the first chapter sing. Your prepublication readers are one means to ensure the strength of your writing.
Tomorrow, more editing in depth.
I'll repeat my published novel websites so you can see more examples: http://www.ldalford.com/, and the individual novel websites: http://www.aegyptnovel.com/, http://www.centurionnovel.com/, http://www.thesecondmission.com/, http://www.theendofhonor.com/, http://www.thefoxshonor.com/, and http://www.aseasonofhonor.com/.