My Writing/Edit Process

 

 

There are a fair few people who have asked me about my editing process because my books have very few errors. (This post may well have errors, fair warning)

So, I’m going to post it here.

Everyone has a different way of doing things, and you will get used to your own. Just practice and test things out. See what you have fun with, what works and what doesn’t.

I am a screenwriter by trade. Yeah, you can look me up. That means I write really lean and mean. Fast action and really hard-hitting pace. I don’t screw around. This does sometimes mean my prose suffers. My style thus comes from a lot of hard work and in using the best people around me to work with me to beat the crap out of me… (err my writing, lol)

This is how I do it.

1 – Writing – 

For the most part I have that ‘movie’ in my head. I see everything in script form, so this means either a 3-act structure or a 5-act. Totally depends on my mood and thus easy to spot in my novels.

I’ve had coaches from all over the world, spoke with and learned a lot from them. I have relished every time someone selling for a living has made the time to reach out and let me know what they loved, and what they think I needed to work on.

Dialogue for me comes naturally. All the fluff description, nope.

I sit down. My choice of venue is www.mywriteclub.com because of the people I have met there over the last 3 years. It works. It pushes me beyond any other writing app. Usually, I write out 800-1500 words in 25 mins, with a break. Then start again. Because I work full time 30-40 hours a week, my daily goal is 3-6k it really just depends on the mood. I push for the higher end and most times I do it. But, work… drains me, so I’m happy with the 1 chapter. My days off or when doing a short shift, I aim for 6-10k

2 – First pass – Typos and Punctuation

This is without a doubt the hardest pass for me, because it’s literally just the typo, punctuation pass. I am no grammar guru, I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. I also know I suck at it. When I sprint, I also tend to miss out ‘speech marks’ so I have to insert a whole lotta them. Sometimes I miss a good few, I hope I catch them all, but I know I don’t too.

3 – Dedicated Alfa team

Yes, I do have some really amazing people. They will look over this if I ask them. I don’t usually, but it’s there if I need them. This is only if I’m unsure about where something is going, I’m usually pretty good with direction though.

4 – My Second Pass

This is where I pick apart the arc in each chapter, that means I look at how it begins, where it goes and where it ends. Get in late, get out early. This all means I look at each overall length and decide if it works.

5 – Character depth/word use

Two hits here, if it is in third POV and I am using a multicast, (like for The Secret King) this is a check on their screen time. If it’s in First Person POV then I make use of this time by doing a quick over word usage check. I have my crutch words and so do many other people.

6 – Dev editing

For some of my smaller pieces, I’ve not used paid Dev Editing. This is because my Alfa and Beta readers are fantastic and I’ve been able to work with them to fix any smaller holes. This works for me because of my scripting. I do love shorter pieces, they were the most fun in film school and beyond. Using all the tricks to get those hooks into readers in the least possible time.

7 – Fixing

This means I have to read the dev edit notes. Step away. It takes me a day or so to let any feedback settle. No matter my time schedule. I don’t rush this. I trust my muse, but sometimes it’s the tiniest way of wording something that makes the story or my meaning of it come out better, easier. This process usually takes the longest, and is one I cherish, because, without the notes from those readers, my worlds would never be as polished. I value my ‘editors like gold’ because they are. If you find someone who you love to work with. DON’T ABUSE THEM.

8 – Letting the whole thing sit

This is also a pretty important part of editing for me. To take a break from something. There’s not always time for me to step away from a project for long. This year’s schedule has been intense as all hell. 1 million words! I think I was crazy, but I am almost there! One book left to write… just one!

So for me, it might not be ‘walking away’ and coming back to it a few weeks later. The dev edit stage is a good time for me to do something else. To let the muse wander to another world and to see and play over there for a while. This is my way of breaking.

For some I know it’s to play a game they’ve been waiting on for a week, to take a reading holiday, or binge-watch the shows they’ve missed out on.

For me, it’s also cleaning house… making sure I spend extra time with family or Bobby J

9 – My final Read through and Pass

Scrivener is brilliant. Working with Editors is also brilliant, but they work in word. So the passing to and from Scrivener gives me a headache. For this stage, it’s mostly in Word now… so I make sure it’s in my format template for the story world, and I sit and read through – backwards…. Scrivener is great because the Mac version will read to you. There are lots of programs out there that you can convert to, that will also do this. I highly recommend it.

10 – Copy Edits

I have used a few people over the years, but trust RMJ Editing the most, and the edits for the books she’s worked on get high praise indeed. There are many reasons as to why I love this editing service, Rogena has never let me down. She’s pulled out all the stops with serious attention to detail and her extra comments on my story have helped me even beyond dev editing. You can find her website details and services here – https://www.rogenamitchell.com/

Other than RMJ Editing, I have used Chimera Editing Services, this was a last-minute jump due to time constraints. I found no fault with their work at all either. I would use them again in a heartbeat. Very professional and affordable. http://www.chimeraediting.com/

11 – Working through copy edits and final notes

Sometimes there’s still the odd thing that needs a little building on. Although Copy edits are supposed to be just that. It’s great to get a note to say if something isn’t quite working so I can still fix it. This comes with trust, and in building working relationships with the editors you use. I choose to use different people along the way because I get the most value and differences of opinion throughout.

I take my time here also, go through each page. Mostly I agree with things, sometimes I don’t. And a change here and there’s not accepted.

12 – Final Proofing

I can ask a couple of amazing people to help here, and I treasure them just as much as anyone else, having these people around you, means the most. They can focus on anything, missing/wrong on the ‘reader’ level.

Do not skip this part either!

For paid proofers I’ve used some from Fiver, who were pretty darned good for the prices, and most recently Jerome Kroger who is in the process of setting up his editing websites and services. All found and spotted just a few things that I’d missed.

13 – PUBLISH!

Hitting that button is the scariest thing you might ever do! We all worry about it… we wait with anticipation and refresh amazon… all day long…

Think about how you word things to us… J reviews help! Kind words and helpful spots also help… choose how you do so with the integrity you’d like someone to reciprocate.

However, that is never the end! Always just a little tweak or ten!

There will be a couple of pesky typos or missing words that get through.

14  – Audiobook Pass

I hadn’t considered this one before I started Audiobook’s. But it is…. And this one embarrasses me because sometimes no matter the huge effort I put in above, the narrator will always spot the odd inconsistency that we missed. Sigh.

 

I adore them all, they have picked out a few typos and wrong word choices. But, yes, this is a really final pass over… although usually, it’s also way after the publishing phase.

So, there you have it. My process.

How do you do it?

 

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Going Wide – W.D. Nix – Avatar Online

 

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Blurb-

Mara has come a long way since high school. She is a teacher with a strong will and a fierce heart. She will fight for herself and her best friend Kitty, no matter who tries to hurt them. When she wins the opportunity to be one of the first to play Avatar Online, both of the women are excited until they find themselves trapped with men they despise.
Logan made a mistake in high school. Now the only girl he has ever cared for hates him. Recently returned from military service, he wishes to earn redemption from those he has hurt and start a new life. He agrees to play a new game with his brother Ian. They find themselves trapped in a game with women that they are attracted to, but have mistreated in the past. In their new reality, alliances must be forged and love may be born from the ashes of old resentments. Redemption may be possible, but will the brothers make the right choices?

This is a GameLit novella of over 24,000 words and is a prequel in the Avatar Online Series. This edition of the book has been expanded from the original version.

You can check out all the wide links over on –

https://books2read.com/u/m0gkpP

Going Wide – R. A. Mejia – Adventures on Tera

One of the most notable authors in the genre because of his podcast and reviewing abilities. Going wide is Ramon Mejia with this great series.

I listened to all the audiobooks that were out when I found the genre, and these were a nice addition to my list. 🙂 Really good if you love audio!

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Bio –

I’m R.A. Mejia, and I’m an author apparently. I write in a genre called LitRPG. It combines video game and tabletop RPG mechanics with fictional writing. I fell in love with the genre a while ago and started to consume every book in the genre. I loved the genre so much that I wrote my own story. If you read my stories and love it, then I’m happy. If you don’t love it, I’ll recommend some other LitRPG for you to read that you might love. If you’ve ever dreamt about living one of your favorite video games or wondered what stories could be told from a gamer perspective, then the LitRPG genre is for you.

If you want to see reviews for all upcoming books, check out the podcast too! 

https://litrpgpodcast.com

https://www.books2read.com/ap/8P1PLx/RA-Mejia

Going Wide – Lars Machmüller – The Wayward Bard

I haven’t had the chance to really look at this book, but it seems to have really gone down well.

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Blurb

Daniel’s Guide to Early Retirement:

1: Intercept illegal money transfer from mafia boss.
2: Hide out in super exclusive Full Immersion Virtual Reality game until the heat is off.
3: Roll a bard. Max out charisma. Live it up.
4: Profit.

With all the pesky planning out of the way Daniel set out to realize his ultimate dream: gaining enough money to buy a tropical island and spend his days playing the violin and RPGs. What could possibly go wrong?

Disclaimer: There shall be no harems in this series. Overpowered, perfect protagonists will not be tolerated and excessive cursing will result in donations to the swear jar.

About Lars 

Introducing Past Lars, Present Lars and Future Lars

Past Lars spent most of his time on PC games, preferably RPGs or MMOs. He also imbibed too much alcohol for his own good, traveled a lot and read between 2 and 5 books a week. His favorite authors were many, but Patrick Rothfuss, Brent Weeks, Peter V. Brett, Steven Eriksson and Daniel Abraham were rarely far from his side.

Present Lars is constantly criticizing the lack of hours in a day. His full-time job and three small kids take turns entertaining him, tiring him out and making sure he doesn’t lack for something to do. The evening between 7.30 and 10 is when he truly comes alive, creating his own private fantasy world where mysteries abound and music permeates everything. He is amazed by the fact that he can watch a Lindsey Stirling video, attribute it as research for the coming book and not lie.

Future Lars is scraping by, but somehow he actually made the transition to full-time writer. The kids are growing up, and he can dedicate most of his time to writing – and he is loving it!

Universal link:

https://www.books2read.com/u/bzPWQ2

Going Wide – G.R. Cooper – Omegaverse

Introducing G.R Cooper today with his Omegaverse Series.

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Duncan Sheriden enters, at the bidding of several friends, into the virtual universe; the Omegaverse. As he explores the alien races, star systems and planets, he discovers a rich, vast, limitless expanse of possibilities.

From gritty fights for control of colonies with hostile alien and human forces, to interstellar trade, to thrilling hunts to eradicate space piracy, to epic battles between star-ships, Duncan finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the virtual world.

As Duncan gains and evolves his online power, his ‘real world’ friends and activities take smaller and smaller roles as Duncan is, unbeknownst to himself, being targeted for special attention by forces he doesn’t even realize exist.

Check it out from this link 🙂 I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!
https://amzn.to/2MpnpHT