Little is as satisfying as finishing a novel. When I complete the first draft, it's a triumphant moment. No matter how many books I write, I'm always thrilled when I turn an idea into something others can read and enjoy.
No book is perfect, but every time I finish a title, I want to make the reading experience as pleasant as possible for my fans. That means editing, and a lot of it.
My editing process, much like my writing process, changes with each and every novel. When how I write a book changes, so does how I edit that novel; while the general principles are the same, in reality, how someone writes a book will alter how they edit that book.
When I wrote Water Viper, I did a lot of editing while I wrote. When I added a new tidbit about the world, I often went back through the book and made certain it was consistent; sometimes I didn't, instead writing a reminder to myself to deal with the issue later. Most times, however, I handled that element of editing while I drafted.
In a way, my first ‘draft' was several drafts bundled into one. I wrote, I read over and adjusted what I had already written, and I began my base consistency checks.
Doing this meant I wrote a little slower. However, I have saved a great deal of time during the editorial process. While I'm still checking for consistency issues, I'm able to focus most of my attention on the words rather than the events. This lets me concentrate in a different way, catching more spelling and grammar errors than I normally catch on my first wave of editing.
It's not perfect, but it makes a huge difference. By catching more errors myself, I leave less for my editor to fix. When my editor has fewer numbers of changes to suggest, the finished book is substantially cleaner. There are fewer opportunities to create additional mistakes later in the editing process.
I can't give you a step by step guide on how to edit. It's really a learning process. In my case, having a good editor who can point out my reoccurring errors and drill me on them until I stop making them made a huge difference in my ability to self-edit. With someone pointing out the things I consistently do wrong, I have become much more aware of the common mistakes. This results in a more polished book before it reaches my editor.
Right now, I'm about halfway through the main editing process, which takes the longest. I'm hoping to be completed the first stage of editing this week. Once my editor has finished her edits, the book will come together very quickly–with a week or two.
That means Water Viper should have a November release! With luck, I'll also have the print edition ready no later than early December, but we'll see.
If you want a chance to get a copy of the ebook version of Water Viper for free, support Water Viper's Kindle Scout campaign. It's simple. Click the link, read over the sample, and click the ‘nominate' button. (There will be a short survey thing you will need to answer regarding the title. It doesn't take long to fill out.) If the book is selected for Kindle Scout, you will get a copy when it releases. Otherwise, you'll be notified when the book publishes.