Skip to content Skip to navigation

Patchwork and Layers

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - 13:25

The push to get the website finished distracted me over the weekend, but now I’ve almost finished processing all the beta-reader comments. Quick fixes are being taken care of immediately; more complicated things—like, “simplify and clarify Barbara’s dealings in Turinz”—are being noted for the next phase. The next layer, that is. At this stage of revisions, I find it easier to isolate tasks into “patches” (small, specific tasks) and “layers” (taking one particular thing and going through the whole manuscript to address it). I find that approach less daunting, and it makes it less likely that I’ll get distracted and forget some element within a larger set.

So the next layer will be to go through from the start and find the revision notes for those more complicated items and patch them. (This is where Scrivener is really helping my workflow. There’s that little place to add notes to each scene) The layer after that will be a high-level read-through. For that, I need to trick myself in two ways: change the visual appearance (different font, different size) so that I can see it fresh, and export it into the pdf-mark-up app on my iPad so that I won’t be distracted into doing actual revisions, I’ll just be able to flag items to come back to. (This, of course, assumes I will remember why I flagged them.)

After that, it’ll be time to export into Word for the layers of formatting, copyediting, final spell-check (and drawing up the vocabulary/names list), and then delivery. My beta-readers were good about noting all manner of copyediting things, but there are a few systematic issues that aren’t worth addressing until the end, because they may simply get re-introduced. (The most annoying one is how the smart-quotes always go the wrong way when quoted speech trails off in an m-dash. One of my readers valiantly flagged every single instance. Sorry about that!)

Seems like a lot to get done in…yikes, nine days! *deep breath* No problem. I can do it. To be sure, the June 30 delivery date is arbitrary, given that it’s unlikely to get editorial attention for a few months yet. But it’s the date I promised, and I’d mess up my working habits if I started treating due dates as squishy.

Remember: Mother of Souls, due out in November! Opera! Magic! Evil sorcery! Literary salons! Duels! Scandalous novels! The founding of a women’s college! What more could you ask?