Self-pub editing (three minute read)
I’m just at the point of completing the final edit of my novel, “Daughters of the Famine Road.”
I’ll upload it, today or tomorrow, on KDP, then it will appear on Amazon as a paperback. I’m really excited to be doing this, but I must have patience and finish this crucial task.
The process of editing has taught me a lot about myself as a writer, and about creative writing in general.
Here's a few examples:
Final-editing my novel has freed me from the umbilical cord that connects me to my work. I can now see things that need changing and not get defensive. It just needs changing, to improve it for the reader. This is because, after a period of time, your words have become, “easier to kill (as they are now), someone else's darlings.” (Stephen King, On Writing. P253.)
I discovered that I just love exclamation marks! They're everywhere in my writing. Especially in dialogue. I had to go through the entire novel and change most of them into full stops, to prevent my characters being shouty!
I found out that speech marks can change direction, if the spacing is not correct. Who knew? ’Like the first one in this sentence!’
Repetition. At the first read through, you won’t notice repetitions. My editor, my daughter, Nancy, @nancycarnell, is great at spotting these. Then you train your eye to spot repetitions. (!)
I thought it was a good idea to put some of my characters' thoughts into italics, only to change them back to straight text, then notice that I missed some, go back and check again. I still have italics, for Irish words, and for the text of letters from America, for example, because I like the look of it. Just not too much.
My three minutes are almost up.
In conclusion: Have another person read your work through for edits/grammatical mistakes/etc. If you can’t afford an editor, then call on your favourite person to do this mammoth task for you. Remember, you will owe huge favours in return. Thank you, darling Nancy!
Always go through the final edit yourself. This work is your creation. I ordered an author’s copy of "Daughters of the Famine Road" from Amazon (see above) and read it through. You will see different mistakes when the novel is in book format. I’m at this point now. You will notice that my second go-round is in blue ink.
I’ll publish my novel today or tomorrow, and re-upload it to the Kindle version, too.
What else have I learnt? Read your author’s copy before uploading the epub version!
Last. Enjoy this process. Send your best work out into the world.