Weekly Digest, Episode 5

calendar_smallI wrapped up another solid week this past Saturday with respectable word counts and significant progress on my new novel, Familiar Lies. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1/24: 1,219 words
  • 1/25: 1,667 words
  • 1/26: 1,214 words
  • 1/27: 1,140 words
  • 1/28: 1,104 words
  • 1/29: 458 words
  • 1/30: 1,357 words
  • Total new words: 8,159

Sunday’s word counts aren’t included here (my weeks “start” on Sunday), but I only wrote enough to keep my streak going (maybe 150 words). Instead, I spent nearly nine hours revising Out of the Badlands so that I could get it out the door and off to my editor.

There’s a lesson here (for me, at least) and that is to not put revisions off until the last minute. My days of making eight or ten passes over a manuscript are behind me, but I still need to do at least one proofreading pass to find typos and make sure what I meant to say is actually what I said. Copy editing, by definition.

These days I do it as I go (something Dean Wesley Smith calls cycling). I’ve mentioned it already, but it bears repeating. Before I start writing for the day, I go back over and proofread what I wrote the day before. Then I get back to writing new words. This eliminates the need to do one massive pass over the entire manuscript after it’s complete.

Well, I have three manuscripts sitting around that haven’t had anything resembling a second pass, so I have my work cut out for me.

I hate revising manuscripts, so I put it off for Out of the Badlands. That bit me in the ass because I had to cram to get it done. Not a good way to do things.

That said, the book is out the door and with my editor, so I don’t have it looming over my head anymore. My other two manuscripts won’t go to the editor for another couple of months, so I’ll have time to proofread those along the way. One bite at a time, like eating an elephant.

With Out of the Badlands out of the way, I can focus again on my current novel. Familiar Lies is coming along nicely. So well, in fact, that I might actually publish it next, before the other books I have currently waiting in the wings. We’ll see.

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