After about one month, the Arduous Edit is coming along far faster than I ever expected. Like holy moly fast. Having a week off over Christmas really helped. I was up at 0 dark 30 every morning banging away at the keyboard. In some respects, the editing process is fun. It’s gratifying to see the story come together and be elevated to a greater level of goodness.
So, here are the vital statistics:
I’ve cranked through 38 of 45 chapters, which puts me at 84.4% complete for the first editorial pass(more on this below).
My average chapter is 2,550 words. This will put me at approximately 115,000 words total – spot on IMHO.
Here are some things that I’ve noticed. First off, I’ve nailed the characterizations for all the major characters. That’s a huge accomplishment for me. The word count per chapter has dropped off by about 200 words or so, which I think is a good thing overall. I’ve corrected some timeline issues, but I still have several more to fix, and I’ve detected a couple of minor continuity errors that I need to address.
Beyond addressing the issues mentioned above, I have three more editorial passes over the manuscript in mind. First, I’m going to listen to every scene using my computer as the reader. This is a technique suggested by Matt Bird, and it is fantastic for catching typos and missing words and just getting a real feel for if the sentences sound good out loud (when read by someone other than the author). Next, I’ll run every page through Grammarly, not fun but useful. Lastly, I’ll print out the entire manuscript and go through it with a red pen. Then, fingers crossed, I’ll start looking for beta readers, etc.