Building A Book #2: So Much Red Ink

Seventy-eight pages left. Out of 517. I don’t even know how I managed it. Well, I mean, I do: slow and steady. 11ish pages a day. But still: wow.

So, yeah, as an update to the last “Building A Book” article, I am now deep into doing the physical copy revisions. I’ve had one red pen throughout the whole thing and scribbled all sorts of instructions to myself.

Generic stuff like “this character needs a new name” and “maybe set up that plot point a little earlier” to technical stuff like “tab error” and “merge these paragraphs”. I even included some fun stuff for my future self to find, like smiley faces on certain pages that did not need any fixing.

But it’s not all just the constant flow of ink. In preparation for the next part of the process, I’ve been doing all sorts of supplementary stuff.

First off, the Alpha group. Like I said in the last post, it’s going to be a small bunch of people—and, in the end, I chose four.

And three of them agreed. Via Facebook. Because rather than perhaps calling them, I made a secret Facebook group and invited the participants. And then wrote a massive pinned post about all the things they as Alphas would need to do.

And God, I am so excited about it. But there was one other thing that needed doing—in addition to the last pages.

As I’m sure a lot of other writers can emphasize: I am not the greatest at keeping my personal feelings out of talking about my writing.

So, I thought the best workaround would be a nice, deeply intricate survey. Filled out once every chapter. Sent out as a file.

And I wrote that up and dropped it into the Facebook group. And in a reassuring reaction, my Alphas picked the survey apart to find flaws, and now I can even improve that. Which well normally might be a tad annoying, in this case is exactly the mindset I want from my Alphas.

And so, I targeted myself to finish the last chunk this very week. With each chapter getting a digital revision right before sending to the Alphas, so I can cut down on production time and keep myself at the same fast pace.

And, hopefully, that will all go as well as I planned. I’ll keep you posted on it, though. My novel will live. But it’s going to be a hell of a trip.

Special thanks to: Bob GerkinCollin PearmanDylan AlexanderJerry BanfieldMichael The Comic Nerd,  Pulsatilla Pratensis, and Thomas J. West.

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