I’ve been chugging away at the edits that Austin sent over before he left for a vacation in Greece (I know, I’m jealous too!) and I’d guesstimate I’m a little less than halfway through the list of edits he had.

So far I’ve trimmed a few thousand words out through the various edits, which I think is good.

Going back through and editing has allowed me to read a lot of the actual book myself.  It’s helped me realize that there’s some changes I’d like to make.

Most notably, I want to change my lead female’s name — for reasons I won’t get into here.

I also want to change the name of the band — as a placeholder I’ve been using Resolute Resolve, which makes no sense and is flat-out stupid.  I’ve known since I started writing that this would be a placeholder, I just have to spend the time to come up with a different name.

I need to revisit describing some of the characters — I’ve done this twice so far already, but need to do it again as now months after writing some of the characters I’m having a hard time remembering what I wanted them to look like.

The story needs some work — there’s certain keys that I wanted to hit to make sure that the end is really powerful.  It’s not a twist in the traditional sense, but I think the ending comes as somewhat of a surprise.  My hopes is that I pulled it off well, but I know that there’s some work that needs to be done.

I’m still pretty well on schedule for where I wanted to be at this time.  I’m hopeful that when Austin gets back from vacation we can plow through the rest of the edits, and then I can use my (fancy new) printer to fire off a printed copy to mark up with a pen.

I was hoping I could do that on the plane on the way to my vacation at the end of the month, but I don’t think that’ll work out with the timing.  Perhaps I’m wrong, but time will tell.

I’ve been chugging away at doing my first read through and am just about halfway there.  It’s such a surreal experience to read your own work, especially since I’ve been reading it on the iPad.

Though I decided the other day that once I’m done with Austin’s edits (which should hopefully be soon), I’m going to print a hard copy to markup with my changes.  I’ve been finding things as I’m reading through that would be easier to just jot down on paper, and go back and make those changes. Nothing major, but little things here and there: this reads funny, this character was taller earlier. That sort of stuff.

I also started interviewing some editors through a number of online services, and will hopefully be able to nail that down before I’m done with the actual first draft.

The whole process is taking quite a bit longer than I anticipated and I still have quite a bit of work to go.  But I’ll get there.  Seeing as how I don’t have a deadline or a publisher to report to, there’s no immediate rush on getting everything done at a specific date or time.  Being my own “boss” has its rewards.

The longer and longer the editing process takes, the more and more I feel like it’s never going to end.  It seems like we’ve been editing for months.  In some aspects, we have, but it feels like a lot longer than it actually has taken.

My buddy Austin, you know him — the one that’s doing the editing — has been finishing up his Master’s Degree, which is why he hasn’t had a lot of time to finish reading and putting together his edits.  I think he finishes up this week, which should allow him some more time to get things done.

I’ve been reading through some chapters in random order myself from time to time.  Reading the chapters on their own, and not chronologically, has given me some good insight into each chapter on its own.  It’s allowed me to see whether or not the story in that chapter is written well enough to stand on its own.

I haven’t officially written any edits on those chapters myself.  My plan is to wait until Austin’s edits are done and then read through the whole thing on my own again.  That’ll give me some more insight into the story as a whole, to make sure that I’m comfortable with it before I send it off to a select handful of people I know to read and give their feedback on.

Hopefully I’ll have that process done by the end of June.  I’ll gather their feedback in July, incorporate that by mid-July, get it off to a story editor and get it back to finish the last draft by September.

I’ll record the audio book version in early September, and get it all for sale.

All in all, not a bad project for 2013.  Keep myself busy, put out a book, and check off something on my bucket list all at once.  Not a bad 2013 at all.

Despite going through his last few weeks of his Masters program, Austin’s been awesome at doing this editing project.  I imagine that when all is said and done, he’s probably going to hate me a little bit.  I don’t think he realized how much work this would be when I asked him to do it. In fairness, I am paying him, so there’s that.

I did the addition on word count of what we’ve edited so far, and we’re roughly a third done with the first draft’s edit.  Making good progress, but I think it’s definitely taking longer than either of us expected it to.

Remind me to never think writing a book is easy ever again.  The initial draft was an easier process and took less time than editing it.  It’s kind of surprising, when you think about it.

On the upside — once the first draft is edited, all of the spelling and grammatical mistakes should be caught, and I can focus on the content of what it all says in the second draft.

My plan is still to hire a professional story editor once the second draft is done, to make sure that the story works.  I may also solicit some friends to read it and just let me know what they think of it.  I’m still not positive that the story itself is even any good.  Hopefully it is. I’ll be able to solicit Austin’s opinion on the story once he’s done reading everything.

The process has been slow, but rewarding.  Having someone else make comments on the work, chapter by chapter, has been great.  Though there have been chapters that have comments that make me discouraged, overall the editing process is going quite well.

My goal is to be done with the first draft’s edit by the end of May, and then work on the second draft through June.  I’m shooting to have everything done and self-published by the end of September.  That includes recording the audio book, which I obviously can’t do until the story is done and completely edited.

That’d make the total turnaround time for this whole project about seven(ish) months, as I started in early March.  If I sell 1000 copies, I’ll be happy.  That’s my goal.  For something I just decided to do, have no backing on, and am financing myself, I think that’s a completely realistic goal.  Anything more than that will be cake.

Plus, at 1000 copies, I’ll have made my money back on what I’m spending out of pocket to have the book edited, published, the audio book recorded, and the various other costs associated with this whole thing.

Fingers crossed!

I’ve been hard at work with my editor buddy chugging our way through the first draft edit that we’re doing.  It’s been a pretty slow and grueling process, but on the bright side, we’re making good headway.

Based on the progress we’re making, I’m guessing this will take another 6-8 weeks.

Once that’s done, I’m going to do a whole read-through myself, to see if there’s anything that I want or need to change for myself.

Once that’s done, I’ll hopefully have found a professional story editor to go through the whole thing.  That’s assuming of course that Austin and Jen (my friend I’ve mentioned many times) think the story is worth moving forward with. Like I’ve said, I think the story’s good, but others may not like it.

I think I also decided this week that I’d like to do an audio book version too. Not because I think it’ll sell any better than anything else, but because I think it’ll be fun to record and produce an audio book!