Monday 23 March 2020
The Final Read Through - The After Process
THE FINAL READ THROUGH
After last week's post about breaking down my day writing wise, I wanted to do something similar about the editing process. I am now at the final stages of editing, which I've talked about here, but Lights On is now with my proof reader, and I'm giving it the final read through before I start to get ready to send it out to ARC readers. It's nerve-wracking, but at the same time, a very nice feeling to have finally gotten to this point.
So what goes into the final read through? After all, having had a lot of eyes on the work already, surely I shouldn't need to read it one last time to make sure everything is good and ready to go? In some cases, you'd be right, but at the same time, I've been getting to the point lately, where I just wanna check things over again, just to be sure that there's no spelling errors or the like. I know that my editor, line and developmental, and proof reader do an excellent job, but at the end of the day, once that book hits shelves, I have to be okay with how it reads.
So with that made clear, lemme go into the five things that I look for in my final read through of a book before I send it out to ARC readers and upload the manuscript ready to be published on release day!
#1. SPELLING ERRORS
I use Google docs for editing, and most of the time it'll catch the spelling errors, but just in case, I run through a full spell check to make sure that one hasn't been missed. This is all before I sit down to actually read the novel completely, because I don't want to miss something while I'm lost in the story. Saying that, it's rare for that to happen, because I'm not just reading as a reader, and author, but with my editing glasses on.
#2. PLOT HOLES AND THREADS CLOSED
Having gone through massive edits, I'm pretty damn sure that everything is in its place. If the proof reader and line editor haven't pointed out things that don't make sense, then it's highly likely, they don't exist, but one thing I'm looking for on this read is for any plot holes. I will say that to date, I've never found any, and this read through is something that I know I do, but I don't think other authors do. It's a way to calm my nerves and also familiarise myself with the story as a whole.
#3. CHARACTER ARCS COMPLETE
I want to be sure that every character arc still read right. In the case of Lights On, I know that there were massive changes in the first stage of edits, and those have since carried through. One of the reasons I want to go through this book one last time is because I'm going to have to carry those changes over to the third book, which I plan to start revising very soon, so that's another reason for this check.
#4. SERIES ARCS COMPLETE
This is similar to the above, with the need to be sure that I'm carrying things over to the final book, I want to be clear on what happens in Lights On and when. I've already got a first draft of Lights Off, but I've not actually done extensive revision on it yet, but as I said, this is coming, and part of this final read through is making sure that I don't miss a massive series arc in the revision process of the next book.
You can't really apply this to standalones, but usually with the genre I write, I will be looking for the mystery element, the foreshadowing and such, to make sure that even though things have changed, the beats I need to hit are still there, present and clear.
And finally, #5. FORMATTING ISSUES
I do a final check to make sure there's no formatting issues, that the chapter breaks and headers are the right font and size, that the text is the right size, justified and all clean to read. It's something that helps make the process all the more real, seeing your book laid out as a book, and it's another reason to read it one last time before it goes off to ARC readers.
So while I think this is a me quirk when it comes to writing and publishing, I do find that it helps with the anxiety when it comes to release day! I'm happy to do it, and then I know for sure that everything is fine when it goes out to the ARC readers and I wait for the reviews to come back.
Do you have any last minute things you do before release? Any writerly quirks? Lemme know in the comments!
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