The other day I mentioned I was bored with the book. I think that is actually a sign that it is ready to be launched into the hands of the copy editor. In a way, I’m bored because it is as good as I know how to make it…which I think is not bad – i.e. I don’t think it is going to bore anyone else!
So how many times have I read it?
- I read it as I wrote it. 1x
- I read and re-work whatever I wrote the day before, then proceed with the new day’s writing. 2x
- Halfway through the book I read all that I have written, so by the time I finish the first draft, I have actually read and re-worked it two and a half times. 2.5 x
- I read it through and make major structural alterations 3.5 x
- After those alterations I read it again to fine tune. 4.5 x
- After the fine tuning, I read and rework it again and send it off to the beta readers 5.5 x
- While the beta readers and reading it, I work through it again 6.5 x
- With the beta readers input back to me, I work through it again 7.5 x
- I read it again for dialogue-spelling-naming-distances-times consistency/continuity and to turf out repetition 8.5 x
- Read it aloud for flow/rhythm and to catch typos and grammatical errors (and I still don’t catch them all!!) 9.5 x
- Send off to editor. When I get it back, read to tweak the areas suggested. 10.5 x
Which is where I am now.
- The next re-read and re-work is when I get it back from the copy editor 11.5 x
- Final re-read of the galleys (aka arcs, first pages) for any egregious errors 12.5 x
And that’s it.
Quite frankly, some of the troublesome bits get a lot more than the 12.5 times.
This is a huge door stop of a book – 180,000 words. It comes in at 619 pages in the Australian/UK paperback size (i.e., not as small as the American mass market paperback, not as large as the trade paperback.) I have not only read it more than 12 times in the past 12 months, I have re-worked it at each draft.
No wonder I want to stop.