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Brian J. W. Lee is a writer. When he's not writing, he's plotting to plunge the world in a deep chasm of terror, darkness and screams. Sorry, did I get carried away?

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Writing Report #3: New Standards

This writing report is for the day before yesterday and yesterday, which would be Wednesday (17/08/2016) and Thursday (18/08/2016).

The last couple of days mark the beginning of my journey to make a final authorial edit on Pulau Purba (Wow, I still haven't introduced her to you guys, have I?). It'd also marked my first use of what I call Voice-Editing. I'm not sure if there's an official term for it. I'll go into that in a minute.

Before I started editing, I had to set my goals. Based on my self-publishing game plan, I will need my book out in at least 2 months. I am willing to spend one of that month making my own edits. I have about 64-65 chapters covering over 158,000 words.

Therefore, I decided on a 2-chapters-a-day daily goal, with the excess chapters to be edited on crunch days - Days that I happened to be in the mood to do more work than usual.

So, on Wednesday, I cracked the bottle on my editing battle cruiser and went on my merry way... And promptly jinxed myself by falling asleep after editing only 1 chapter! The only excuse I have is that the prologue chapter is twice the length of the regular chapter in my book, but it would be unbecoming for a disciplined writer to find an excuse!

So on Thursday, I made up for it by editing the next 3 chapters of my book. Now I'm on track. I'm thinking of ramping up the speed if I can, so that I can focus on the matter of the subtitles, blurb, synopsis/summary, foreword, dedication, author notes... Basically everything else that to do with the more copy-writey or technical stuff.

Okay, back to this thing I call Voice-Editing. Previously, I would edit with that voice in my head reading, or something no voice reading at all when I'm in the zone, doing it a little faster - My normal editing technique is very cerebral, logical. I look out for the mechanics of the story, and whether I am adhering to the rules of the language (that would be proofreading).

With Voice-Editing, I actually read my own novel. Literally. I have a tenant in my home, and I worry he might think I'm Norman Bates or something.

Pic 1: No, I don't look like that when I'm editing.

But the result of this is that I get to examine my writing on another level: Coherence and harmony. It is almost like working with poetry or speech, or heck, music. I did try my best right from the beginning to make my writing as fluent and smooth-sounding as possible - I had bad experiences with attending an open mic session with writing that sounded terrible when read.

What triggered me to do this is me thinking, Gee, I wonder if my novel would make a great audiobook?

Basically, it hit me that I have no guarantee it will. In other words, voice editing is going to pay off in the long run.

Otherwise, in the more mundane aspects of proofreading and editing, I've shaved off plenty of mistakes, weird kinks and made a few changes here and there that I think improved the overall quality of the novel.

I'm still thinking of how I can bring down the word count a little. Can my novel even be cut down at all? I'm starting to doubt it. Maybe I just suck at it. I did went over the word limit for my Final Year Project in university too, by something like 30%!

Hmm... Next promise I make to myself. Try editing 3 chapters a day. It will cut the time spent down by at least a week and a half.

Brian, over and out.

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