A few months ago, I hired an editor to take a look at my novel. This was a big step for me, to look beyond beta readers and go for more professional advice. I took my time to find the right one and with their help, picked the right services.
Once the first step had been completed, I took some time to think about the feedback I’d been given and how I could best make the changes needed to address the points I wanted to – some were points left intentionally to work into the trilogy as a whole.
Now, I’ve finished my part of it and I’m ready to move onto the next step.
Taking some time to process things
I’m fortunate that I’m used to receiving feedback. Hell, I look forward to it. I always want to do better and improve my craft and my stories.
That’s why I was able to take the feedback on board quite quickly and start making a plan. Most of it was positive, and I decided that fewer smaller changes would do much better than a few larger ones. This meant I’d have to pay attention to smaller details and the ramifications of those throughout the manuscript but, even now it’s done, I stand by that choice.
I spent a chunk of time wondering if I’d done too much, or not enough, but in the end, I’ll see what the next phase of this process throws at me and what needs to be done next. Either way, I’ll be more aware of this going forward with the next book.
Even then, the feedback I didn’t expect didn’t knock me down too much, either. Some of it related to things I want to address in further books to make them more connected, but that doesn’t mean I can ignore it entirely here.
I can see now the benefits an expert’s eye can bring.
Dealing with distractions
As you might know by now, I tend not to stick around in one place for too long. The last year saw me stick to Wellington, with work and Covid both playing a part in that decision.
I had hoped that my last few weeks at Wellington would let me go through the manuscript and get it ready for the next service I need to have done, but as usual, life had other plans.
I managed bits and pieces but there were friends to see and say goodbye to, work to finish and packing to do. I’m the kind of person who likes to set aside time and get on with things, but given my nomadic lifestyle, I don’t want to miss out on life, either.
That means I had to take some distractions and finish the work this week, while in my current home of Queenstown. It’s been a good balance; explore, do things and write. I can’t complain at all, so far, and it’s worked out nicely, if I do say so!
Having got it done, there’s a sense of relief.
Don’t’ get me wrong, there’s still more to do. Another round with my editor, Rachel, is coming early next year and even beyond that, there’s the work to get everything ready to self-publish. That means that while I can relax a little and take a little breather, there’s no time to let up.
Not only that, but books two and three are looming. Their first drafts are done but I don’t want those redrafts to take as long as this one has.
Even with my travelling, I’m going to have to get better at managing my time.
But for now, I’ve got another project that demands my attention.